Business

Parity Pays it Forward with $10,000 Energy Conservation Initiative

Parity

Brad Pilgrim, CEO of Parity is giving 10,000 to all new clients in efforts to help offset increasing condominium fees as a result of social distancing and working from home.

Entire work forces have moved their operations to their homes. With this shift comes a drastic shift in the way Torontonians are consuming energy. The pivot from the use of commercial buildings to residential has resulted in a surge in energy costs from condominium owners which have in turn increased fees for tenants. Brad Pilgrim, CEO of Parity wants to help.  

Parity is a Toronto based energy management company that optimizes how your building uses energy. The application makes reducing energy consumption a community effort, with a realtime dashboard and monthly savings reports. 

Condominiums have now seen a 50% increase in daily occupancy, heavily impacting energy costs for buildings and tenants. Pilgrim says this was the inspiration for their new Pay it Forward initiative.   

“Parity understands how to use energy efficiently in your building in order to save you money,” said Pilgrim, “we decided to use this knowledge to pay it forward, so that building owners can pay forward their savings from installing our system. Every new client will receive $10,000 to assist in offsetting the increasing fees for tenants,” said Pilgrim.

Energy consumption not only affects your pockets but the environment. Bay Street Bull caught up with Pilgrim to discuss what building owners and tenants can start doing now to save money and reduce harmful CO2 emission pollution and why it is vitally important to do so. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of social distancing in order to reduce individual carbon footprints

Q & A

What tips do you have for professionals who are now working from home to reduce that consumption?

When you’re working from home, comfort is going to be paramount. But what I do is, even though I’m home all day, I’m keeping my lights off and turning the thermostat down. I’m doing all the things to maintain that my house is functioning as if I were at the office. Small things like showering in the morning when your building’s systems are used to having surges instead of in the middle of the day will reduce how taxing additional usage can be on system boilers.

Parity
Parity team have virtual meeting while working from home.

We’ve seen reports of the environment improving in different areas as a result of people being inside. How might social distancing change CO2 emissions?

When you’re working you produce two times the footprint, 50% being at home and 50% when you’re at work. I think the shift in people working at home doesn’t necessarily correlate directly to a reduction in co two emissions, but I think the shift in overall industry energy consumption is where you’re going to see the reduction in CO2 emissions. So yes, the environment is getting better. However, slowing people down and letting the environment heal itself also has ramifications on people’s lives and money.

What are the real concerns about climate change and what can COVID-19 teach us about preparedness for large scale disasters?

It’s really easy to forget that what scientists and organizations have been warning people about for years in regard to climate change could be 10 times worse than what we’re experiencing right now. This is a glimpse through a window into what could happen to the earth if we don’t keep concentrating on reducing CO2 emissions and solving climate change. This is a 1 to 100 in terms of the magnitude of the challenges we would be facing if  climate change persists and sea levels rise and drought happens and we lose all our glaciers and animal populations start deteriorating and food becomes scarce. That is something I would really like to stress.

Quick Tips

Relearn the 5 R's

Everyone has heard of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. There is now a more modern set of R’s better suited to what our environment needs now; Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, and Recycle.

The goal is zero waste. Refuse, to use single use products, this will decrease the about of paper and plastic in landfills. Reduce, the amount of things you purchase. Modernization has given us the ability to grow our own foods even from the comfort of our apartments allowing consumers to be conscious of how much is really needed. Reuse, as much as you possibly can, if you can keep an item out of a landfill do so. Rot, composting systems are a great way to support community gardens or kick start your own. Recycle, this step is the most commonly known but also most commonly done incorrectly. Ensure that you are properly recycling used paper, plastics, glass and metals.

Monitor your home's output

There are many ways to take control of the amount of emissions released while in your home.

Incorporating LED lights in your house will consume 25% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs and last 25% longer. Small adjustments like turning off lights to take advantage of natural light, or burning candles in the place of lamps can become easy habits.  Remembering to unplug laptops and other electronic devices will save battery life but also cut 235 kilowatts of energy use a year. Turning your water heater down can save 550 pounds of CO2 emissions a year, a low-flow shower-head can save 350 pounds of CO2.

Take advantage of Social Distancing

For the first time in a long time, if not ever, there are very few places travel to. Use this time as a way to reduce carbon emissions used in traveling by motored vehicles. Walk or run to the park instead of driving. With cities incorporating more green and walkable community spaces there is more room to be active and enjoy the environment. City bikes are also a great solo way to travel to your destination without emitting any harmful chemicals. Public commuting can also save approximately 4,800 pounds of CO2 per person per year.