A Competitive Edge Can Take No Energy At All

By: Stephen MacDonald,stephen-macdonald-efficiencyone
Chief Executive Officer, EfficiencyOne @e1steve


Businesses everywhere are embracing the many benefits of energy efficiency. In addition to the benefits of immediately lowering energy costs and reducing exposure the risks of volatile energy prices, investments in energy efficiency also reduces noise, provides better moisture and temperature control, and results in better lighting and air quality. All of this makes for a much more comfortable environment for your customers and employees.

Farnell Packaging in Dartmouth is an example of a company that has been able to grow revenue while lowering energy use. Not an easy task as a packaging manufacturer that operates seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day and uses a lot of electricity.

The family-owned enterprise has been in business for over 55 years and employs 185 people. Through energy efficiency they reduced their annual electricity consumption more than 156,000 kWh. They also reported a 55 per cent increase in their revenue over the past five years.

Those impressive numbers highlight one of more than 500 companies in Nova Scotia who made energy efficiency a priority last year.
These companies are not only helping their bottom line, they are also helping the environment. Approximately 600,000 tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions are being avoided in Nova Scotia because of energy efficiency. And that number will grow by about 100,000 tonnes every year.

Jurisdictions everywhere, including Nova Scotia, are turning to energy efficiency as a tool to battle climate change. It is one of the fastest, most cost effective and lowest risk ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over 100 countries, including Canada, have ratified the Paris Agreement and committed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

To meet this target, countries need to transform how they produce and use energy. The influential International Energy Agency (IEA) has noted the importance of the role of energy efficiency in the global energy transition cannot be overstated. According to the IEA, there are no realistic or affordable energy and climate change polices without a sizeable and vigorous energy efficiency component. It is the one energy resource all countries possess in abundance.

Businesses too, possess an abundance of opportunities to increase productivity, competitiveness and sustainability through energy efficiency. Whether it’s recommissioning an older building or upgrading to more energy efficient lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, there are many more cost-effective efficiency opportunities to pursue.

Nova Scotia is quickly becoming a recognized national leader in energy efficiency.  This is in part due to the leadership of local companies, like Farnell Packaging, who have embraced energy savings to improve both their economic and environmental performance.



Stephen MacDonald is the Chief Executive Officer of EfficiencyOne, operators of the Efficiency Nova Scotia franchise. Last year alone, Efficiency Nova Scotia completed over 30,000 energy efficiency projects working with more than 100 local partners across the province. 

Article originally published in Business Voice – December 2016 (page 34).