Know everything about your energy balance!

by Aug 21, 2019General

While global warming is at the center of scientific debates such as those emerging from IPCC reports (Oct. 2018), so is energy consumption. Hence, the underlying energy issues are also important. Among them, greenhouse gases (GHGs) related to climate issues. IPCC defines the GHGs as gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation and contribute to the greenhouse effect by redistributing them in the form of harmful radiation.

Know the issues of the energy balance for an industrial building: A must!

Whitmore and Pineau (2019) define primary energy sources as raw resources of the natural environment that are extracted and converted into secondary energies, then divided into energies: wind, hydro, petroleum, coal, natural gas and biomass. While industries hurried to integrate the management of health and safety, environmental issues, they tend to slow down in terms of the consideration of the energy sources used and generated by their operations / productions. Yet, the development of an industry is stimulated by its energy consumption. So, energy is a first-line catalyst in the production chain in an industry.

And, scientists rushed to remind the investors..

According to Natural Resources Canada, industrial energy systems, including combustion, industrial heat production, combined heat and power, compressed air, motors, pumps and fans account for approximately 80% of all the energy consumed by the industry. Moreover, Natural Resources Canada works closely with Canadian industry and other research groups to identify priority technologies to reduce and / or recover energy losses, reduce production costs, reduce the need for fossil fuels and thus mitigate the threat of global warming by reducing GHGs.

Knowing your energy balance allows you to take a sharp look at your energy data certainly, but better use its energy sources (therefore less losses), optimize its energy system, then guide its organization towards rewarding accreditations.

Energy diagnosis: definition

The energy balance‘s purpose is to give the indicators of the energy consumption of a building. According to ISO 50002: 2014, the energetic balance or energetic diagnostic test, also called the energy Audit, is the systemic analysis of energy consumption as part of a defined energy audit to identify, quantify and to report for improvements on energy performance. Therefore, the balance sheet issued will enable to assess both energy consumption and the level of GHGs emissions. According to the Energy Sector Management Chair at HEC Montréal, the energy balance represents: 1) the link between the various energy sources, 2) their transportation and transformation into multiple products, 3) their consumption and 4) the efficiency of the system. This, without forgetting the economic and environmental impacts of each of these links in the energy chain.


Some certifications are developed to rank industries and integrate them into a scoring system to recognize them. Especially these standardization systems exist in eco-construction such as the  Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) better known than the previous one. They are built around 10 main areas related to sustainable development at the top of which is energy, where the optimal management of energy consumption must be detailed.

Indeed, it serves to evaluate a building management performance in terms of its mechanical system, lighting and energy consumption. Depending on the type of building to be certified, the energy portion accounts for approximately 30% of the total assessment, making it an important component, reflecting the importance given to energy management. To do this, the industry must at least have:

  • A preventive maintenance program for mechanical equipments and structural components of the building
  • A recent energy balance according to ASHRAE standard (less than 5 years old)
  • An energy management plan
  • A plan to reduce energy consumption

Still, energy is a pivotal parameter to master both for production needs and other issues interacting with operational factors.

Quebec’s energy in numbers

In Quebec, the energy sources used in industry are mainly hydroelectrical, oil and natural gas, representing 41.56% of GHGs emissions with energy losses amounting to 26.36% among which are the energy consumption of buildings.

Like most of the elements constituting the industrial operations, buildings, create impacts at every stage of their lives. Either construction, production, demolition, rebuilding a unit, operation and the end of life of the infrastructure. These impacts are also counted as GHGs emissions.

However, Intervention Prevention by distinguishing your energy sources, could make an inventory of your consumption and give you a summary of your energy performance.



Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), 2017. National report of eco-responsible real estate –  BOMA BEST 2017. Online.

ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211-2018. Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits. Atlanta (USA),  ISSN 1041-2336.

IPCCGIEC, 2018. « Global Warming of 1.5 ºC » Special Report. [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, H.-O. Pörtner, D. Roberts, J. Skea, P.R. Shukla, A. Pirani, W. Moufouma-Okia, C. Péan, R. Pidcock, S. Connors, J.B.R. Matthews, Y. Chen, X. Zhou, M.I. Gomis, E. Lonnoy, T. Maycock, M. Tignor, and T. Waterfield (eds.)]. In Press.

ISO 50002 :2014. Energy audits – Requirements and recommendations for implementation. 22p.

Lagnika, S. B. M. (2009). « La gestion des risques environnementaux au sein des entreprises immobilières » Mémoire. Montréal (Québec, Canada), Université du Québec à Montréal, Maîtrise en sciences de l’environnement.

Whitmore, J. et Pineau, P.-O., 2018. State of Energy in Quebec 2019,  5th edition. Chaire de gestion du secteur de l’énergie, HEC Montréal, prepared for Transition énergétique Québec.

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Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


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