The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) announced that Martin Luymes, HRAI director of programs and relations, participated in the first-ever “Advocacy Day on the Hill” in Ottawa focused exclusively on energy efficiency and the economy. The day was organized by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA), of which HRAI is a member.

Luymes was joined by representatives from various industry groups and companies, including other industry associations and several utilities, with a stake in energy efficiency policy at the federal level. The goal was to advocate for the merits to Canadians and to the Canadian economy of policies that promote energy efficient behavior. The approach was non-partisan: meetings were held with key elected officials from the government and opposition parties. Meetings were also held with senate committee chairs and senior government bureaucrats working in departments which have some influence on energy efficiency policy.

HRAI said the mood in Ottawa to the message of CEEA was very receptive. But while energy efficiency is a difficult issue not to support in principle, finding concrete ways to make it happen is more of a challenge. For example, in a meeting with Alfred McLeod (ADM, Public Works & Government Services Canada), it became evident that energy efficiency is not a top priority for a federal government engaged in major retrofits to existing buildings across the country. Once apprised of the operational cost savings associated with such measures, McLeod, who is responsible for federal procurement policy related to these building retrofits, allowed that the government could do better to lead by example.

A number of follow-up actions have been identified and are being pursued by the CEEA.

Publication date: 12/9/2013

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