Help Secure Energy Justice for Those Most in Need!

The rising costs of living are forcing millions of Canadians to compromise when choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families. Energy efficiency upgrades are a proven way to lower energy bills while also offering protection from cold spells and heat waves. Federal programs provide financial support for middle and upper-income Canadians looking to make their homes more energy efficient, but program gaps are excluding millions of low-income Canadians who cannot afford the upfront costs. Investment in the upcoming Federal Budget is needed so that all Canadians can save energy and live comfortably.

Sign Efficiency Canada’s petition to let Minister Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that there is strong public support for energy efficiency for low-income Canadians.

Take Action Now! | Read more about Efficiency Canada’s work to end energy poverty

Help Ensure Canada’s Transition to Net-Zero is Fair and Just

Low-income communities across Canada are disproportionately impacted by climate change and rising cost of living. Families across the country are struggling to choose between heating bills and groceries. Energy efficiency upgrades are a proven way to lower energy bills while also offering protection from cold and extreme weather events, yet existing energy efficiency programs are designed to support middle-to-upper income Canadians. The programs fall short of supporting low-income Canadians who rent or can’t afford the upfront costs associated with energy upgrades. Energy poverty needs to be prioritized at the national level if the transition to net-zero emissions is to be fair and just.

Sign Efficiency Canada’s petition to let Minister Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that all Canadians deserve to live in safe, warm, and comfortable homes.

Take Action Now! | Read more about Efficiency Canada’s work to end energy poverty

Aidez à garantir la justice énergétique pour ceux qui en ont le plus besoin !

La hausse du coût de la vie oblige des millions de Canadiens à faire des compromis lorsqu’il s’agit de choisir entre chauffer leur maison ou nourrir leur famille. Les améliorations de l’efficacité énergétique de leurs demeures sont un moyen éprouvé de réduire les factures d’énergie tout en offrant une protection contre les vagues de froid et de chaleur. Les programmes fédéraux offrent un soutien financier aux Canadiens à revenu moyen et élevé qui cherchent à rendre leur maison plus éconergétique, mais les lacunes des programmes excluent des millions de Canadiens à faible revenu qui ne peuvent pas se permettre les coûts initiaux. Des investissements dans le prochain budget fédéral sont nécessaires pour que tous les Canadiens puissent économiser de l’énergie et vivre confortablement.

Signez la pétition d’Efficacité Énergétique Canada pour faire savoir à la ministre Freeland et au premier ministre Justin Trudeau qu’il existe un fort soutien public en faveur de l’efficacité énergétique pour les Canadiens à faible revenu.

Agissez maintenant! | En savoir plus sur le travail d’Efficacité Énergétique Canada pour mettre fin à la pauvreté énergétique

Aidez à garantir que la transition du Canada vers la carboneutralité soit juste et équitable

Les communautés à faible revenu partout au Canada sont touchées de manière disproportionnée par les changements climatiques et la hausse du coût de la vie. Partout au pays, les familles ont du mal à choisir entre les factures de chauffage et l’épicerie. Les améliorations éconergétiques constituent un moyen éprouvé de réduire les factures d’énergie tout en offrant une protection contre le froid et les phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes. Pourtant, les programmes d’efficacité énergétique existants sont conçus pour soutenir les Canadiens à revenu moyen à élevé. Les programmes ne parviennent pas à soutenir les Canadiens à faible revenu qui sont locataires ou qui ne peuvent pas se permettre les coûts initiaux associés aux améliorations énergétiques. La pauvreté énergétique doit être une priorité au niveau national si l’on veut que la transition vers les émissions nettes nulles soit juste et équitable.

Signez la pétition d’Efficacité Énergétique Canada pour faire savoir à la ministre Freeland et au premier ministre Justin Trudeau que tous les Canadiens méritent de vivre dans des maisons sûres, chaleureuses et confortables.

Agissez maintenant! | En savoir plus sur le travail d’Efficacité Énergétique Canada pour mettre fin à la pauvreté énergétique

BGIS 2024 Supplier Innovation Award Article

Morgan Solar Energy Blinds, Winner of the 2024 BGIS Supplier Innovation Award

The operations of buildings have a significant impact on our environment, contributing to approximately 40% of global carbon emissions and consuming about one-third of the world’s energy. From heating and cooling to lighting and appliances, the energy used in buildings directly affects our carbon footprint and overall sustainability. The operation of our buildings also has a big impact on core business success, as it relates to operations costs, customer experience, and team member health and wellbeing.

The challenge to delivering the performance and operational efficiency targets that we are all seeking, typically includes economic viability, integration with the existing building design and operation, and obtaining buy-in to change. Despite these challenges, BGIS is committed to helping clients improve the operational performance of their buildings, and identify new solutions in order to do so. With that said, BGIS is pleased to announce that Morgan Solar is the winner of the 2024 BGIS Supplier Innovation Award, for their innovative Energy Blinds.

Energy Blinds are an exciting new technology that replaces conventional window shades. Using advanced materials and control systems, they produce electricity, and they reduce energy consumption from heating, cooling and interior lighting. The energy produced can amount to more than 10% of a building’s requirements, depending on the building’s efficiency, and the HVAC energy savings of up to 10%, while also making spaces more healthy and comfortable for occupants. Most importantly, they offer strong business cases, with their energy savings and generation resulting in very short payback periods. These savings and improvements can be significant enough that buildings can reach their energy efficiency and emissions goals without needing to go all the way to an expensive and carbon intensive building re-skinning or window replacement.

“BGIS manages over 40,000 facilities worldwide, and we are always looking for opportunities to continuously improve the operational efficiency and performance of our clients buildings, considering the environment, occupant wellbeing, and economics. With the right solutions, our clients do not have to choose between sustainability and project economics, which is what makes these Energy Blinds so exciting.” – Andrew Hicks, BGIS

BGIS first deployed an Energy Blinds demonstration system in 2021 at a Government of Canada site. This pilot project, installed on 86 windows, has resulted in a reduction of over 12 tCO2 per year, over $6,200 per year in energy savings, and positive feedback from the client in terms of comfort. Working with BMO, BGIS and Morgan Solar will install an Energy Blinds commercial project at the BMO Technology and Operations center in Q2 of 2024. The BMO project will demonstrate the effectiveness of Energy Blinds for retrofits in office spaces by improving productivity with increased daylight, by generating energy for backup power, and by creating savings in HVAC operation. BGIS is excited to work with Morgan Solar on these pilot projects, and is already in discussions with other clients to look at further Energy Blinds projects.

Morgan Solar has partnered with Cisco to deploy Energy Blinds connected to Cisco’s next generation building automation and efficiency concepts. Cisco is leveraging existing ethernet infrastructure in commercial buildings to develop efficient DC microgrids. With Energy Blinds, these microgrids can be powered by renewable energy – powering offices with the energy harvested at the windows.

The first commercial Energy Blinds project went live earlier this year at a Cisco office location, and Morgan Solar has partnered with Cisco and BGIS for their next project for Bank of Montreal.

BGIS is excited to offer this award, to be involved in the development of two of the first commercial Energy Blinds systems, and to work with Morgan Solar and BGIS customers all over the world to make buildings more energy efficient, healthier, and better places to live and work.

About BGIS

Leading the global real estate industry with innovative fully integrated solutions since 1992, BGIS provides technically led integrated facility management services globally. With a focus on innovative solutions that support our clients in differentiating and successfully growing their businesses, BGIS provides a full spectrum of customized facility management services, integrated technical services, project delivery services, energy and sustainability solutions, asset management, workplace advisory and management, and real estate services to real estate and infrastructure owners and occupiers.

Supported by a team of more than 12,000 employees globally, BGIS manages more than 500 million square feet of client portfolios across more than 40,000 locations across the globe, including, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

About Morgan Solar

Morgan Solar is a Toronto-based technology innovator and manufacturer with 15 years of experience in solar energy, solar tracking, sensors and controls. We adopt proven materials and processes from the existing commercial and industrial ecosystem to push the envelope of what solar can achieve. Morgan Solar is partnership focused and engages leading vendors, manufacturers and channel partners to develop innovative products and move them to market. Morgan Solar specializes in simulation, software design and product design for solar energy applications in buildings and for commercial solar.

The building envelope is key to unlocking energy savings

The building envelope, referring to the outer shell of a building separating the interior and exterior, serves as a barrier against heat, cold, moisture, noise, and air infiltration. The components of the building envelope, including insulation, windows, walls, doors, and roof, play a critical role in the overall energy efficiency and performance of the structure.

Substantial evidence supports the importance of the building envelope on overall energy efficiency. Several studies identified saving potentials from the building envelope in European countries in the range between 75% and 80%. Another study noting that about half of the annual air conditioning heating energy consumption of public buildings were consumed by the heat transfer of building envelope.

Traditionally it has been difficult to evaluate the actual thermal performance of the building envelope. Pressurizing the building and conducting a blower door test may be impractical and cumbersome. Handheld thermography usually does not provide detailed insights or recommendations. These challenges may have contributed to the building envelope being overlooked in the past.

A logical first step to understanding the actual thermal performance of the building envelope is undergoing a comprehensive audit. Modern technologies have evolved where these audits can be done with a high degree of precision while being convenient, timely, and cost-effective. The audit should be able to get into granular details and identify specific issues throughout the building envelope such as moisture accumulation, thermal bridging, poorly performing windows, and areas of poor or degraded insulation to name a few. Ideally, you would know which windows, walls, doors, roof, etc. are performing poorly from an energy leakage point of view and empower you to take specific and targeted repairs or retrofits that maximize the financial investment.

Having a detailed understanding of the building envelope is the first step in planning and executing on building envelope retrofits and repairs that will save energy use and associated dollars. Retrofits are crucial to realizing the energy savings potential of the envelope because nearly 85% of residential and 55% of commercial buildings that exist today will still exist in 2050 . In order to meet our net zero targets, Canada needs to retrofit one building per minute . However, at the current rate of retrofits of under 1%, Canada would need 142 years to retrofit all homes and 71 years to retrofit all commercial and public buildings .

The building envelope is a critical line of defense against energy loss and environmental elements, making it an essential aspect of any decarbonization plan. As existing building stocks age, the building envelope will play an even greater role in sustainability and energy efficiency in the built environment. Whether the focus is on financial savings or net zero goals or both, it is critical to have an accurate diagnosis of the building envelope in order to begin planning retrofits that will maximize energy savings and return on investment.


[1] M. Hummel, R. Büchele, A. Müller, E. Aichinger, J. Steinbach, L. Kranzl, A. Toleikyt, S. Forthuber. The costs and potentials for heat savings in buildings: Refurbishment costs and heat saving cost curves for 6 countries in Europe. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 231, 15 January 2021, 110454.
[1] Analysis of the building envelope influence to building energy consumption in the cold regions. Guohui Feng a, Shuai Shaa, Xiaolong Xua.  Procedia Engineering 146 ( 2016 ) 244 – 250.
[1] Harris, Chioke. Opaque Envelopes: Pathway to Building Energy Efficiency and Demand Flexibility: Key to a Low-Carbon, Sustainable Future. United States: N. p., 2021. Web. doi:10.2172/1821413.
[1] National Research Council presentation on Platform to Decarbonise the Construction Sector at Scale, 2022.
[1] National Research Council Canada Green Building Strategy, 2023.