Cool Shops Lights the Way for Ottawa Firms to Cut Energy Use and Costs

Cool Shops Lights the Way for Ottawa Firms to Cut Energy Use and Costs

The province of Ontario has launched "Cool Shops," a Clean Air Foundation program that helps small street-facing businesses in Ottawa reduce energy consumption, save on utility costs and improve air quality.

Under the Cool Shops program -- supported by the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources Canada, Hydro Ottawa, and Enbridge Gas Distribution -- teams will visit 1,000 Ottawa retail businesses to install one free Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and offer a free lighting assessment to test energy efficiency. Once the test has been completed, store owners will be given an on-the-spot conversion savings appraisal and a list of discounted and recommended products that can help reduce energy consumption.

CFLs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. If each of the 1,000 business visited switched one 100 Watt incandescent light bulb to a 23 Watt CFL, Ottawa would reduce commercial energy expenditure by over $29,000 per year.

"It's in everyone's best interest that we make efforts to conserve energy and improve the quality of our air," said Councillor Clive Doucet, Capital Ward, Ottawa. "Very tangible results can be achieved when individuals work together and strive toward a common goal; the small business community is no exception."

"Collectively, small commercial businesses in Ottawa use up a significant amount of energy," said Owen Mahaffey, Energy Conservation Manager, Hydro Ottawa. "Hydro Ottawa is committed to helping our customers manage their electricity usage and control their costs. Cool Shops makes it easy for small business owners to help cut back collective energy expenditure."

Cool Shops recommended products will be significantly discounted thanks to Hydro Ottawa and Enbridge Gas Distribution with Home Depot Supply shipping the products within 24 hours, free of charge. The discounted product offer sheet will include:

  • 13 Watt CFLs
  • 23 Watt CFLs
  • LED exit bulbs and signs
  • Programmable Thermostats

    "Cool Shops is a successful program that addresses a number of relevant issues," said Ersilia Serafini, Executive Director of the Clean Air Foundation. "Implementing a few minor, recommended changes not only helps conserve energy but can also keep store owner's costs down and improve the quality of air Ottawa citizens breathe."

    "The Cool Shops program is a win win situation for Domus," said Barbara Blais, who is spearheading the energy conservation initiative at Domus Housewares. "Converting to more efficient lighting and implementing some of these other changes was easy, contributes to my bottom line and makes me feel good about using less energy."

    Small businesses that participate in the program will also be included in the Clean Air Foundation's Cool Shops marketing program, receiving an official "Cool Shop" window/door decal and free advertising in newspapers and magazines.

    The Cool Shops program began operating in Toronto in 2000 and this year, is expanding to Ottawa, London, Peterborough, and Markham.

    For more information on the Clean Air Foundation and the Cool Shops program, visit