Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis




Cinergy Research Project Folder

Rinks Energy Retrofit Program - Cinergy Project

This folder contains the context and basic description of the Cinergy project.


The City of Toronto has established an extensive Energy Retrofit program. CELOS is monitoring a specific project under this program, the Cinergy Contract to retrofit arenas and outdoor rinks, to observe how the City handles such projects, and how these projects effect the use of these spaces. Cinergy currently operates under the name Optimira, and over the life of the proposal and implementation has been named Vestar, and been associated with Duke Energy.

We are interested in knowing

  • were the objectives achieved
  • if so, were they achieved most productively
  • what was the impact of the project on rinks

posted February 01, 2010

The Cinergy project paid the contractor about $10M to recommend and implement energy saving measures in city arenas and outdoor rinks. The financing for the project initially came from loans to the city, which loans are to be paid out of Parks, Forestry, and Recreation (PFR) operating budgets over about 7 or 8 years. The financing assumes that the energy saving measures actually save the city at least the full cost of the project, in cash, over the period of the loan. If this assumption is incorrect, or if operating budgets reflect current reduced costs, not previous costs, then the payments out of operating funds would reduce funds available for PFR programs. Interest costs are another consideration.

The project organization consists of:

  • City staff and committees for oversight and control
  • Cinergy staff for implementation and evaluation

The project consists of:

  • Low tech measures (such as lighting)
  • High tech measures (such as automated energy saving systems)
  • Staff training to take advantage of installed measures

Project control consists of:

  • process of written proposals, changes, during implementation
  • evaluation period after installation to measure actual savings

We are interested in understanding if the objectives were achieved, and if they were achieved productively. We are also interested on the impact of the project on arena operations. Specifically, we are interested in:

  • the effectiveness of the organizational structure, and communications
  • the cost effectiveness of using outside contractors as opposed to city workers to install low-tech measures
  • the effectiveness of the high tech measures
  • the effectiveness of the training
  • the effectiveness of the implementation control procedures
  • the effectiveness of the savings measurements
  • the reliability of the controls
  • the effect of the measures on the operation of the rinks and arenas

Listing of material in this folder

Context - Energy Retrofit Program

Survey of the public record by CELOS: Toronto's energy retrofit program ( see also the working notes for the article). Written August 2007.

City of Toronto web site information on the rink/arena energy retrofit program.

articles from the dufferin park community newsletter, 2007, about saving city money.

Cinergy Project

Cinergy Plan Overview - from a letter to the Friends of Dufferin Grove Newsletter, 2005

A lay-person's guide (pdf, 6.6MB) to the City of Toronto's building energy retrofit program, to help regular citizens to navigate and understand the technical elements.

Excerpts from the contract the City signed with "Cinergy Solutions," also called "Vestar" or "Optimira"

Sample cases and data

Here is "forecasted energy savings" for Ted Reeve Arena chart, through a Freedom of information request order up-mo_2228, based on Appeal MA 050302-1

Arenas/rinks - Dufferin Park 12 Months Energy Avoidance Table (see also MS Word version), from city staff, 2008. Background Cinergy Concept Report for Dufferin (pdf).

Wallace Emerson Cinergy concept report and spreadsheet (pdf - see also excel version).

Jimmy Simpson Arena solar panels. See news release.

Reference material and data sets

from the City's Energy & Waste Management Office: An Arena Project (summary) case study (pdf) to show the arena/rinks energy retrofit results

Energy Efficiency Retrofits - List of buildings that were retrofitted, with baseline energy costs, from Jim Kamstra Manager, Energy & Waste Management. Extracted outdoor rink figures (and excel version).

Electricity use information for 5 parks 2005 - from Jim Kamstra (Energy and Waste Management): chart (pdf)

Rink baseline energy costs table (pdf) and chart (pdf).

Related folders

Cinergy Project Evaluation

See Cinergy Project Evaluation folder

With the set of documents collected to date through iterative requests, we attempt to forge the data into a more formal research structure: Case Study: The Cinergy Contract, with the intent of following up with complementary information requests to achieve the purposes of the research.

See Optimira savings report (Cinergy project) for first year.

Research Correspondence

See Cinergy Research Correspondence folder

Rinks 'energy retrofit' correspondence diary: letter exchange between CELOS and city staff, 2005-2007. See also page 2, page 4, and page 5.

Access to Information Requests

Freedom of information requests about the $10.3 million Arena/Rinks energy retrofits project

Followup Access to Information Request, January 2009.

Content last modified on December 15, 2010, at 04:03 PM EST