Evidence of meeting #122 for Natural Resources in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was businesses.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Anna Murray  Vice-President, Sustainability, Bentall Kennedy
Emilie Hayes  Policy Analyst, National and Legislative Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Monique Moreau  Vice-President, National Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Kent Hehr  Calgary Centre, Lib.
Bernard Généreux  Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, CPC
Rob Nicholson  Niagara Falls, CPC
Yasmin Abraham  Director, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me
Len Horvath  Past President, British Columbia Advanced Conservation and Efficiency Association
Karim Abraham  Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me
David Craig  Vice-President Secretary-Treasurer, British Columbia Advanced Conservation and Efficiency Association

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Yes, if you could, just so we know what it is. Probably more important, when do the patents expire?

12:30 p.m.

Vice-President Secretary-Treasurer, British Columbia Advanced Conservation and Efficiency Association

David Craig

They're just recently established.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Okay.

In terms of Empower Me's goals of making sure that you both test the energy usage at the beginning and test the uses at the end, do you tend to employ independent assessors, or is it all in-house managed?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Yasmin Abraham

Over our six years we've had a combination. We do a combination of energy modelling to determine what we believe is going to be the energy savings, and then we actually look at users' consumption data from utilities. Those are the savings that we report. Some of the funders, some of the cities, and some of the utilities have done their own independent studies. I believe Energy Efficiency Alberta is also planning to do that.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

In terms of the performance, how good is the modelling as compared to the measured?

12:30 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

In the modelling we use HOT2000 as our baseline for modelling in these homes, which is a standard used across Canada.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

How's the performance? How close is the modelled expected savings to the experienced savings?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Yasmin Abraham

It's pretty good. We don't have the data with us today, but I think one of the big things we focus on is what the homeowners say.

The homeowners are saying their bills are going down. They're more comfortable. They understand what energy efficiency is. They know that putting in a light bulb saves them energy. Then maybe six months down the road they're going to install insulation, and then maybe in another year they're going to go for a furnace. It's really a journey that we lead our participants on.

12:30 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

To add to that, as we have the whole value chain under our belt, it allows us to create feedback loops. When we are looking at the performance of modelling versus actual data, we see we can incorporate that feedback right through our entire process to allow us to continually iterate and improve the processes, as opposed to having fragmented, different service providers who lose that feedback loop.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

In terms of how this is financed, I can see an argument where government is ultimately paying the energy costs for the clients in order to have some sort of an incentive. But generally in the marketplace isn't there enough money just in the recaptured value of the savings to pay for the work that your organization does?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Yasmin Abraham

Can you explain a bit more what you mean?

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

If you're able to do a project that has a four to seven year payback just in these cost savings alone, why is that not enough to try to recapture that cost as a way to pay for energy retrofit programs? Why does government also need to subsidize?

12:30 p.m.

Director, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Yasmin Abraham

I think Karim has a comment, but I just wanted to say I think that's good for a community with multiple buildings and multiple homes and a band council. But when you're an individual, and you're working three jobs, and you're taking your kids to school, you don't have the time and you don't have the finances for those bigger upfront costs.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

You said that about a half of your work is for low-income folks. Did you say that the other half of the work is for bands?

12:30 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

A half of our work is from the private sector, so commercial and institutional buildings, and the other half is from public funds at various levels of government. The work we do services distinct markets that are—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

so let's focus on the half of your—

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

I'm going to have to stop you there. We're right on time.

Mr. Viersen, you're next.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

To carry on with that line of questioning, basically, how does your funding come in and how do you allocate your resources back out again?

12:35 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

In indigenous communities, they don't have the capital required to pay for long-term community energy planning, the assessment component, and to pay for the capital requirements for these upgrades. If we look at the supply in diesel costs that are being subsidized to these communities, and we look at that funding as a way to help push energy efficiency, we see that becomes a more impactful model that helps both the supply side of energy and the demand side of energy. But these remote communities with 90 homes don't have the capital required to take on these initiatives on their own.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

It sounds to me, though, like where you're getting the resources from doesn't necessarily mean that you're allocating the resources back to that same jurisdiction even. It's a business model that collects money from around and diverts it more broadly.

12:35 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

We would work with the specific community on a specific project, and take that project to different funding bodies or look at various funding opportunities that fit that project at all levels of government.

The problem we face is these projects are often relatively innovative in their service delivery model. When we see funding that's only for a specific part of it as opposed to the whole thing, we find ourselves outside the check box that we need to be in that we think is innovative. However, it provides a barrier for us to get these projects off the ground that have incredible payback and are helping improve the lives of people in these communities.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

I think you said something about you've been operating for six years so far. Do you have a total emission reduction number that lets you say that since you've been in operation, you've reduced consumption by a certain amount?

12:35 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

That's a great question. We do an annual report at the end of the year for our emission reductions as well as some of our other stats—how much coffee we drink and things like that. We will have those numbers in the next few weeks, and we'd be happy to share them with you.

December 4th, 2018 / 12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

That's very good.

My cousin works in the data industry, and most of his stuff is remote. He's cell powering it himself. Ten years ago, it took an eight foot by twelve foot solar panel to run his technology. Now he can do it with an eight inch by twelve inch solar panel and he's doing exactly the same stuff. He said even using the same technology on the backside was just power management. Turning things off when you aren't using them was the biggest thing. That was just programming.

You talked about somebody who didn't want to touch the thermostat. I recently was in a place where you didn't have to touch the thermostat. As you walked by it, it figured out your routine and things like that.

Are you seeing that kind of trend as well?

12:35 p.m.

Chief Executive Officer, Kambo Energy Group, Empower Me

Karim Abraham

I think talking about the supply side, solar, and the demand side from energy efficiency, it's really important to look at those two technologies holistically. If we look at a community and they have energy consumption, you're going to have to build a solar facility to match that.

If we can reduce consumption beforehand, the feasibility and the economics of your renewable project go down tremendously. We need to look at these programs in harmony. Again, it's a really good example of a lot of funding being diverted to things like solar in places where energy efficiency would have a much greater return on investment and help the community much more in the long term to get to renewables down the road.