Ontario is pushing to get to large building owners measure and track water usage.

The Ontario Ministry of Energy has made a proposal that requires large building owners to collect and submit data on their building’s water and energy usage each year.

Large building owners play an important role in helping Ontario meet its conservation objectives, according to the Ministry’s “Energy and Water Reporting Benchmarking” proposal.

The regulation would affect buildings that are 50,000 sq. ft. and larger. The regulation is intended to improve efficiency of current and future buildings.

Building owners and managers must first understand how water and energy is being used in order to identify where improvements can be made, according to the proposal.

Making water and energy usage open to the public will also aid property markets compare and value efficient buildings.

The Ministry says the regulation will be used by the province to inform future policies on water usage.

Some building owners are concerned about how the regulation could affect businesses. The Building Owners & Manager Association (BOMA) stated, any data collection should not impinge on business interest of commercial real estate owners and managers and their right of privacy.

The amount of water and energy used by many businesses is a part of their competitive advantage or disadvantage, according to BOMA.

If the regulation goes in to effect, the reporting requirements will be phased in over a three-year period. The Ministry will post an annual report of the key findings for water and energy usage once a year.

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The proposal is open to public comment until April. The Ministry expects to have the regulation set out in the Green Energy Act by the end of the year.

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