Ventilation

Install CO2 sensors and receive up to $1,100 per sensor

Improved indoor air quality creates a healthier, more comfortable, and productive workplace. Ventilation systems improve air quality by exhausting stale or polluted indoor air from a building and replacing it with fresh outdoor air. Proper ventilation reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) levels along with other airborne contaminants such as dust, odours, and moulds.

Fixed vs. demand-controlled ventilation

Ventilation rates are traditionally based on a maximum assumed occupancy level. For example, 15 cubic feet per minute of fresh outside air per person multiplied by the maximum design occupancy for a particular space.

Fixed ventilation systems provide the maximum design fresh air requirements for the space at all times regardless of whether the space is fully occupied, partially occupied or unoccupied. With fixed ventilation, any time the space is not fully occupied, energy is wasted to heat, cool, humidify, and dehumidify more outside ventilation air than is necessary.

Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) systems aim to match outside air supply to actual occupant need. 3 common DCV strategies you can apply in your building are CO2 sensors, time-controlled ventilation, and occupancy sensors. We offer incentives for the installation of CO2 sensors.

CO2 sensors

Photo of a CO2 sensor.

Example of a CO2 sensor, actual monitor may differ from photo.
Enlarge image.

People exhale CO2 at predictable levels, making CO2 a useful indicator of a room's current ventilation needs. CO2 sensors take frequent measurements and match the supply of ventilation air to actual occupant needs at any given time. CO2 sensors therefore save energy and money by eliminating over-ventilation while ensuring proper indoor air quality.

Incentive

  • $1,100 per CO2 sensor if ventilation air is heated with electricity;
  • $550 per CO2 sensor if ventilation air is heated with natural gas.

Eligibility

All CO2 sensors must:

  • use infrared sensor technology;
  • be permanently attached;
  • control the ventilation system;
  • be for use in an existing commercial building;
  • control spaces with a minimum of 15 people at maximum design occupancy;
  • control spaces in which the ventilation system operates a minimum of 1,000 hours between September 1 and May 31.

You must apply for pre-approval before equipment is ordered and before work can begin.

Benefits

  • lower energy costs;
  • consistent indoor air quality and improved occupant comfort;
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
  • less demand on your HVAC system, possibly extending equipment life;
  • improved marketability of your building.
Typical annual savings
Building examples Annual savings Payback with incentive
The savings examples above assume:
  • The ventilation system was electrically-heated.
  • Prior to CO2 sensor installation, the ventilation was shut off or reduced to minimum levels during unoccupied hours. Energy savings may be significantly higher in situations where this is not the case.
School with 12 classrooms, library, and multi-purpose room (16,000 ft2 with 14 CO2 sensors) $1,680 0 to 1.3 years
Retail space (4,000 ft2 with 1 CO2 sensor) $420 0 to 0.5 years

How to take part

You must receive pre-authorization before you purchase or install any equipment. To apply:

  • Submit your completed HVAC Program Application (PDF, 229 KB).
  • We will pre-approve your application.
  • Install your energy efficient measures.
  • Submit your completed documentation:
    • completion declaration;
    • questionnaire;
    • paid invoices.
  • We may arrange a post-inspection walk-through.
  • An incentive cheque will be mailed to you.
Read more about the HVAC Program