Exchanging Ideas on Climate
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
Exchanging ideas on Climate

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?Geared for Change: Energy Efficiency in Canada?s Commercial Building Sector?, a joint report from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), was released on January 13, 2009. [more..]


  • Energy efficiency technologies exist that can reduce GHG emissions from the commercial building sector, but barriers to their use and wide-spread adoption are in place and must be overcome.
  • A comprehensive package of policy recommendations is required if the commercial building sector is to achieve targeted emission reductions through increased energy efficiency.
  • This includes:
    • Applying a market-wide price signal on carbon;
    • Adopting specific regulations such as new building codes, minimum performance standards for buildings and equipment, and mandatory energy labeling;
    • Targeting subsidies and financial incentives such as accelerated capital cost allowances and technology funds;
    • Utilizing information programs to drive voluntary actions for energy efficiency by building owners and tenants.
  • A comprehensive, time-sequenced policy pathway from 2009 to 2050 is being recommended to the federal government by the NRTEE and SDTC, demonstrating what specific actions need to be taken when, in order to achieve targeted GHG emission reductions from Canada?s commercial building sector.



In a 2006 report, the NRTEE concluded that better energy efficiency in commercial buildings was a strategic priority for achieving Canada?s long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 60% below 2006 levels by 2050.

Considering that commercial buildings use 14% of our end-use energy and that they are responsible for close to 13 % of Canada?s greenhouse gases ?including electricity-related emissions ? cutting down energy use in these buildings makes sense from environmental and economic perspectives.

While technologies exist to increase energy efficiency in buildings, our research indicates that their uptake needs tPhoto - Commercial Buildings Expert Advisory Committeeo be complemented by government policy. That?s why, by working and sharing research with Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the NRTEE is developing a policy framework that can help maximize the use of existing technologies to stimulate energy reduction.

Photo - Commercial Buildings Expert Advisory CommitteeOur expert advisory committee is guiding this research, ensuring that ?on-the-ground? perspectives are heard. Our report will outline the current context for energy use in commercial buildings, and recommend actions the federal government should take to drive progress.

Start Date: February 2008
Report Release Date: January 13, 2009

Background Documents

Advice on a Long-term Strategy on Energy and Climate Change



NRTEE-SDTC report on Energy Efficiency in Commercial Building Sector builds momentum among industry stakeholders eager to learn how to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Toronto, January 28, 2009

Halifax, February 26, 2009

Montreal, March 13, 2009

Vancouver, March 26, 2009


?Emissions Soar in Policy Vacuum?
Canadian Property Management Magazine
March 2009 Edition


March 10, 2009

Minister Lisa Raitt, Deputy Minister Cassie Doyle, and Mr. John Cockburn of Natural Resources Canada appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. The commiittee is considering Bill S-3, an Act to amend the Energy Efficiency Act.

"The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy has recently issued a report that will, I think, confirm his view that there is a lot of potential there. We can seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial sector by doing a lot of the things we are doing now."

(Mr. John Cockburn, Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada)
Full Transcript


Annika Tamlyn
Policy Advisor
Complete list of members