Energy efficiency in the garage

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Park savings
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Keeping your building's garage in top condition can cost as much as $500 a year per parking stall. Some of that money can easily be recouped through energy savings.

Get incentives up to 50% of project costs for simple retrofits to lighting, controls and fans to maximize savings and reduce operating costs.

At-a-glance: Where are your savings hiding?

Illustration of a parking garage - depicts exhaust fans, overhead lighting, ramp heaters and occupancy sensors

1Exhaust fans

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Safer, quieter garages

Typically, the garage rush hour syncs with traffic – busy in the morning and again in the evening. While many exhaust fans run nonstop, they could actually be off 90% of the time. With fans not running constantly, garages are quieter, safer and ensure your garage is up to code – with no safety risk posed from elevated CO levels.

Sensors bring cost savings

Add CO sensors to fans so they run only when CO build-up is detected. CO sensors can reduce energy costs by up to 75% and extend the life of the fans as they're running less often. Installation is quick, disruption is minimal and payback can be as fast as two to three years.

2Overhead lighting

Lighting icon

Say goodbye to dark corners – LEDs keep people feeling safe

Parking garage lighting is often overlooked for savings but with 24/7 operations, it's an ideal place to reduce energy use.

Why you'll wish you started sooner

  • Most garage lighting retrofits result in energy savings up to 60%.
  • With better visibility and light levels, you'll meet building code requirements.
  • A brighter garage enhances safety for residents, tenants and/or visitors.

LED lighting leads the way

Technology has come a long way, making LEDs an efficient, reliable choice for overhead lighting and exit signs. They use 75% less electricity and last up to 50,000 hours† which can reduce maintenance costs. Other benefits:

  • Versatile, extremely durable and perform well in lower temperatures.
  • In some cases, upgrading is a simple lamp-for-lamp swap.*
  • Payback can be as fast as 2 years.

Add controls, save even more

Garages can be busy one minute, and empty the next. Motion-activated lights dim and brighten based on occupancy, so you're not paying to light 24/7. The result? A sensible solution, enhanced garage safety and up to 70% in electricity savings.

Starting a lighting project?
Ensure the job is done right. Read our tips for choosing and working with a contractor.

*Not all LEDs are a perfect fit with existing fixtures, so a lighting upgrade may involve more than a simple switch. LEDs will not work with rapid start or magnetic ballasts and some may not work with dimmable or programmable-start ballasts. Learn what to ask your contractor to be sure your upgrade meets your expectations.

†The Illuminating Engineering Society currently recommends calculating the life of an LED as the point at which the LED reaches 30% lumen depreciation.

3Occupancy sensors

Occupancy sensors icon

Motion sensors are a win-win

LEDs pair well with motion sensors for additional savings of up to up to 70%. With sensors, lights dim when there's no one around and shine brighter when occupied to create a safer, more welcoming environment. With controls, LED lamps also last longer, which can add to already reduced maintenance costs. Installation is quick and clean and the payback time is minimal.

People intuitively understand that lowering the lights helps to save energy, so if you're planning other energy-efficiency programs or projects, sensors help to foster a culture of conservation building-wide.

4Ramp heaters

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Keep drivers safe without wasting electricity

Toronto weather is unpredictable, with some winters warmer than others. For some parking garages, that means ramp heaters work overtime – even when they're not needed. Add temperature and precipitation sensors so that ramp heaters operate only when ice is detected. You'll keep drivers safe without wasting electricity.

Incentives pay up to 50% of project costs

Ask us how to prioritize or combine multiple projects. We can help you calculate paybacks and maximize your return on investment. LED lamps and sensors typically qualify as an operating rather than a capital expense in your budget, so it's easy to start saving immediately.

Available incentives:

Up to 50%

Start with an energy audit

Audit funding incentives pay up to 50% of your audit, up to $25,000.

Learn more >

Up to 50%

Upgrade and save

Retrofit Program incentives pay up to 50% of project costs.

Learn more >

Which sectors can benefit the most?

If your facility has one or more parking garages, you could reduce ongoing operating costs. Typically, buildings that benefit include:

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Large office and commercial buildings

Government icon

Government buildings

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Schools, universities and hospitals

Multi-residential icon

Multi-unit residential buildings

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Shopping malls

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Hotels and motels

See how these companies took savings underground

Waterford Condos
Condo parking garage

Technology upgraded: lighting in common areas, the garage and outdoors

Electricity cost savings: $57,900/year

Read full case study >

The Masters Condominium, building view

Technology upgraded: Garage lighting

Electricity cost savings: $41,785/year

Read full case study >


Technology upgraded: Garage lighting, CO sensors, pumps

Benefits: Reduced operations, maintenance and energy costs

Watch the video >

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