Boiling Over Cap and Trade?

How BoilerLink Will Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Cut Costs in Apartment Buildings

On January 1 st , 2017, the Ontario Government introduced a Cap and Trade program.

The Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act (Bill 172) is a central part of Ontario’s solution to fight climate change.


FACT: The Province of Ontario is responsible for less than one percent of world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but is one of the largest per capita emitters in the world. 1

THE GOAL: Decrease Ontario’s emissions by eight to ten megatonnes by 2020. 2


According to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, a Cap and Trade program is a proven way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fight climate change by giving polluters an incentive to cut emissions. 3

It creates a price on carbon emissions by limiting the amount of GHG pollution that can come from the economy and then allowing those covered by the cap to trade among themselves in a flexible and cost-effective way.

Cap and Trade

What exactly does this mean?

The plan is to cap the amount of GHG emissions that Ontario homes and businesses are allowed to emit, intending to lower the limit over time.

Funds generated by this program will be used to promote low-carbon energy solutions throughout the Province as we move towards a greener and more accountable economy.

Pricing carbon emissions in this manner is arguably one of the most powerful tools that governments have to encourage companies and households to change course; polluting less by investing in cleaner technologies and adopting greener practices.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

As it relates to Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs), conservation incentive programs have existed for quite some time.

In addition, other provinces (British Columbia and Quebec) and the State of California, have already implemented Cap and Trade initiatives of their own.

Each year, the Cap is lowered-leaving stakeholders in the MURB sector with few options:

a) Invest in green technologies.

b)  Incur additional costs to buy emission credits (depending on emission benchmarks).

c)  Pay added fees to fuel distributors (for those that emit below 10,000 tonnes of pollutants).

Under this system, the price to pollute sets the strength of the economic signal and determines the extent to which green choices are encouraged.


In Toronto, MURBs represent the most significant component in the Toronto residential building inventory.


56% of the dwellings in the City of Toronto consist of apartment buildings. 39% of all Toronto dwellings are either mid-rise or high-rise apartment building of five or more storeys.

The combined electricity and natural gas consumption of Toronto MURBs is responsible for 2.5M tonnes eCO2 emissions annually.

An estimated 17% of the total GHG emissions in Toronto are associated with natural gas and electricity consumption of apartment buildings. 4

This is why MURB Property Managers and Owners need to shift from their “out of sight, out of mind” attitudes when it comes to the use and maintenance of their boilers.

Boiler issues related to efficiency, breakdowns, and premature failures, are central to why the monitoring and optimizing of these machines are more important than ever.

Commercial boiler life expectancy is also falling.

Surprisingly, many of those that should care simply accept this reality as a cost of doing business- until now.

Having the real-time ability to monitor and control the performance of a MURB’s boiler(s) has become vital towards curbing the added costs of this new government initiative.


Until recently, the remote monitoring and control a boiler’s performance was easier said than done- especially in smaller buildings that aren’t supported by a Building Automation System (BAS).

But thanks to BoilerLink by SensorSuite (, all building stakeholders – especially down-market where technology adoption is limited or absent, can now reap the benefits reserved for those that have historically had the money and resources to evolve.

Utilizing SensorSuite’s easy-to- use cloud dashboard and an internet connection, BoilerLink is able to detect small variations in boiler performance and allows users to act on them in real-time using a smartphone, tablet or PC.


After receiving these alerts, BoilerLink not only helps stakeholders maintain peak operational efficiency, but also helps in minimizing the cost of repairs- arguably extending a boiler’s life.

From a cost savings perspective, BoilerLink can clearly cut spending in a variety of ways:

Boiler Optimization – Charts and historical data logs give stakeholders the ability to optimize their boiler’s performance. These optimizations allow for energy savings and as a result, reduce expenses for a given building.

Alarm Notification – Custom alarms provide immediate notifications- so that problems can be addressed immediately.

Reduced Maintenance Time – Boilers can be remotely monitored and controlled 24/7, eliminating the need for many maintenance check-ups. Furthermore, multiple boilers in a portfolio of buildings can be monitored and controlled at the same time on one cloud dashboard.

Maintains Warranty – Eliminate the risk of a warranty being voided due to boiler misuse or neglect.

Avoid Costly Upgrades – Extend the life of a given boiler by installing BoilerLink at a fraction of the cost.


Today, as it relates to accountability, many property stakeholders are unable to generally hold anyone accountable for boiler mishaps or damage because:


1)  There’s typically a high turnover of Property Managers and Maintenance Contractors in the space.

2)  It’s difficult to pinpoint the source of a boiler problem until it’s too late.


A building’s boiler is like the human heart. It provides heat and circulation. Its works is unseen. And when it fails, the rest of the system will follow shortly thereafter.

Commercial boiler maintenance and responsible boiler use are essential in Ontario’s new Cap and Trade era.

Clearly, with the emergence of Cap and Trade in Ontario, GHG emissions will increasingly impact a given building’s operational expenditures.


Let SensorSuite help you keep your boiler healthy and building stock profitable.

BoilerLink is coming in 2017.


Learn more about how our Smart Building Initiatives make sense.

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By Johnny Ramoutar- January 10, 2017




1 Cap and trade in Ontario. (2016). [online]. Last modified 19 December 2016.

2 Cap and trade in Ontario. (2016). [online]. Last modified 19 December 2016.

3 Ontario Posts Final Cap and Trade Regulation. (2016). [online]. Last modified 19 May 2016. final-cap- and-trade- regulation.html

4 Clarissa Binkley, Marianne Touchie, and Kim Pressnail, Energy Consumption Trends of Multi-Unit Residential

Buildings in the City of Toronto (Report submitted to Toronto Atmospheric Fund, 2012).

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