Expert advice to reduce costs
The big 4: Prioritize here for the biggest savings
No two industrial facilities are the same. Everyone has unique core processes, but when it comes to energy use, heat recovery, process heat, steam systems and energy curtains tend to be your biggest opportunities to save. Best of all, each type of project is eligible for incentives.
Whether you manufacture furniture or grow cannabis, your equipment is generating heat. This heat is lost energy—energy you’ve already paid for. Heat recovery technologies can capture waste heat and repurpose it into something useful.
Common heat recovery upgrades include:
Installing condensing economizers on boiler flues.
Installing blow-down heat recovery.
Adding heat exchangers to hot exhaust stream to pre-heat fresh air.
The usual definition of “process heat” is ovens and furnaces, but actually it’s anything that uses thermal energy to convert raw material into your product, whatever that product may be. It can be process air heating (distinct from space heating) or process water heating. We can help you make changes to process heating efficiency without impacting your base processes.
Common process heating upgrades include:
Covering equipment openings.
Maintaining or increasing equipment insulation.
Adding variable frequency drives to exhaust fans to reduce the amount of waste heat.
There are many ways to optimize steam systems: our Energy Solutions Advisors look at end-use steam requirements first, to avoid creating waste. Then we make recommendations for steam distribution and generation upgrades. For those who can use water as a heat carrier, a full conversion to a hydronic (hot water) system offers more efficiencies.
Common steam system upgrades include:
Insulating valves and lines.
Replacing steam traps.
If your application is suitable, adapting the existing steam system to use hot water.
Energy curtains for greenhouses
Curtains, shades, screens, blankets—these energy-saving greenhouse technologies go by many names and offer just as many benefits.
In winter, energy curtains reduce heat loss at night. When closed, there’s less volume of air to heat, and the curtain helps reflect heat back onto the crop, protecting plants while lowering heating bills. During the summer, closing curtains during very hot, sunny days helps shield crops that are sensitive to intense light, reduce cooling costs and may improve yields.
What incentives are available?
|Fixed Incentive program||Industrial Custom Engineering program||Studies and assessments|
|Specific dollar amounts for qualifying technologies, typically direct one-for-one replacements. Up to 50 percent of costs.||Incentives based on energy saved, typically for more complex projects. Up to 50 percent of incremental project costs, to a maximum of $100,000 per project.||Up to 50 percent for third-party engineering studies and assessments, to a maximum of $10,000.|
Note: HST is not applicable and will not be added to incentive payments.
Get complimentary one-on-one consulting with our energy-efficiency technical experts to help you saveContact an Energy Solutions Advisor
Upgrades for total utility savings
Enbridge Gas Energy Solutions Advisor Jordan Meunier’s engineering background comes in handy when he’s helping industrial customers make upgrades that save energy. His prior experience at a brewery, an automotive factory and a corn sugar plant has given him an inside look at how to improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce carbon emissions.
What does ‘total utility costs’ refer to?
When we talk about total utility costs, we’re generally referring to the combined cost of natural gas, electricity and water. We recognize that this looks different for each customer: some facilities use multiple fuels for combustion; or only one fuel for combustion; some use natural gas for steam or hot water and so on. No matter which scenario it is, we don’t take a cookie cutter approach. We work with the customer to cultivate a deep understanding of their business and find ways to lower total utility costs.
So you focus on more than natural gas savings?
Yes! There are often hidden costs associated with equipment that uses natural gas. For example, in steam systems, there are water treatment costs. Certain areas have harder water than other areas and that can affect buildup. Excess buildup can cause not only a loss of efficiency through heat exchange but also part failures, which is a maintenance cost. How these systems interact is something we have a lot of expertise in. We’re here to share that expertise with our customers and provide solutions.
What’s the value of working with an Enbridge Gas Energy Solutions Advisor?
We know customers only have so many hours in the day and are often strapped for time. I’m your outside set of eyes—I provide support on a technical basis and help navigate our program resources. I also guide the incentive claim process.
Which upgrades can help reduce total utility costs?
If you use process heat, I recommend evaluating heat recovery opportunities. This can be a significant area for savings. In fact, we’re seeing customers who looked at this a few years ago and passed who are now reconsidering because the economics of that decision have changed, along with our incentive. Especially if you have an aging boiler or greenhouse gas reduction targets, this is an important upgrade to consider.
If you don’t have process heat, you likely do have a large HVAC system, such as a rooftop unit and make-up air units, for space heating. We strongly recommend you evaluate ingoing and outgoing airflow—those will be your biggest opportunities to save. For example, if you’re a manufacturing plant and you have 50,000 CFM moving through your facility around the clock, we can help you figure out if the space really needs that much heated air, all the time, and what that might be costing you. We can help you determine more precise airflow and heating costs associated with any airflow reductions through scheduling and/or automation.
If you have a steam system, a great place to look for savings is water treatment of the incoming systems. We’ve had some customers install a reverse osmosis system to improve efficiency, with help from our incentives.
Which Enbridge Gas program offers incentives for these kinds of upgrades?
Industrial energy-efficiency projects fall under our Industrial Custom Engineering program. I calculate your estimated savings and incentives and work with you and your service provider to make sure the project is on track all the way through to completion.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part for me is when I have a customer, big or small, that utilizes all aspects of our program. When I get a chance to provide technical advice, and I also get a chance to provide financial support, that makes me very happy.
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Top 5 benefits of diffused greenhouse glass
There’s a reason diffused greenhouse glass has been gaining in popularity over the last number of years. As Ontario’s greenhouse sector continues to grow, this promising technology is long-lasting, helps increase light transmission and has proven to increase harvest production. Haris Ahmadzai, Supervisor, Energy Conservation, shares the top reasons customers are choosing diffused glass.
More even light distribution
Compared to clear glass that transmits direct light, diffused glass distributes even light that penetrates more deeply into a crop. With diffused glass, all leaves get more uniform light without shadows—even the ones at the bottom of a plant. This can increase growth, production and crop quality.
Higher growth and crop productivity
Research demonstrates that diffused glass increases productivity—an average of 8 percent across all types of crops. Most greenhouse operators would have to expand their crops to achieve this. Diffused glass allows greenhouse operators to increase production without new greenhouses and, inevitably, more natural gas.
Less heat stress on plants
With scattered sunlight that covers crops more evenly, diffused glass can also prevent the top leaves from burning or wilting from high temperatures. This can also reduce the need for ventilation to control humidity.
Lower lifetime cost than other options
Many glazing options, such as plastic or polyethylene, need to be replaced every 5 – 7 years. Although the cost of diffused glass is higher than other options, it’s durable and lasts significantly longer. So in the long term, you’re paying less over its lifetime.
Ideal for new construction
Diffused glass has quantifiable benefits related to crop production, which is why more greenhouse operators are choosing it when expanding their greenhouses. In the Netherlands, where much of this research is being conducted, nearly 90 percent of new greenhouses built use diffused glass.
“As the greenhouse sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, diffused glass is a proven technology that will help customers increase growth and productivity. With our technical support and incentive, they’ll also benefit from lower costs and faster payback.”
— Haris Ahmadzai, Supervisor, Energy Conservation
Get incentives for diffused greenhouse glass
Our Energy Solutions Advisors are here to support your project and build an incentive. Diffused glass is eligible for up to $0.10/m3 of natural gas saved. Through energy modelling, we can also support you with a payback analysis with ROI calculation.
- 13.6-acre vegetable greenhouse:
- 210,000 m3 natural gas saved annually
- $21,000 incentive
- 13-acre cannabis greenhouse:
- 186,000 m3 natural gas saved annually
- $18,600 incentive
Bundle with energy curtains for additional benefits
Incentives are also available for energy curtains to better insulate greenhouses and shield crops year-round. Read more about energy curtains.