City of Kingston Energy Retrofit Feasibility Study

A view of the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston audited energy and water use in 37 municipal buildings, looking for ways to reduce consumption.

Lighting, heating, cooling, insulation and automated systems were examined for energy-saving opportunities. The city endorsed a series of specific retrofits for each building, from changing the types of lamps used to installing occupancy sensors. The audit revealed that reprogramming building automation systems - for example, adjusting thermostat set temperatures - could significantly reduce energy consumption. The changes were estimated to cost $3,130,800 but provide $351,800 in savings per year. With provincial and federal grants, the payback period was estimated at 8.3 years.

The city has carried out most of the recommended retrofits. Reducing utility consumption will cut greenhouse gas emissions and save the city money.


Environmental Economic Social
  • Lower consumption of natural gas, electricity and water, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Utility cost savings will mean an attractive payback period on retrofits of 8.3 years
  • The retrofits provide residents  with a good example of energy conservation


  • The initial scope of the study, which included major building-system upgrades and options for renewable energy, was too broad.
  • Auditing 37 buildings took a lot of time.

Lessons learned

  • Target buildings with the greatest energy use instead of auditing energy use in every municipal building.
  • Use the same engineering firm for the audit and the work - and sign an energy performance contract as a guarantee of their forecasted energy savings.
  • Make sure to involve building operators in the study. They know their buildings and can help assess how practical it will be to implement the recommendations.
  • Make sure building operators get training on the retrofits.


Partners and Collaborators

Project Contact

Debra Krakow
Project Manager
City of Kingston, ON
T. 613-546-4291, ext. 3120

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