Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

Water conservation project underway in Kingston

Article Date: October 15, 2012

St. Lawrence College’s Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC), Utilities Kingston & the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP) partner on a water conservation project  with funds from the Ontario Power Authority.

The Ontario Power Authority has granted energy professionals and researchers $99,800 to link water and electricity conservation incentives.  

Steve Sottile, energy conservation officer at Utilities Kingston, said the project will determine how much electricity is used to transport and treat water and wastewater in Kingston Hydro’s electricity distribution territory. 

“It will also identify a number of cost-effective water-conservation measures that could be implemented in local businesses and institutions,” he explained. 

“Once this is done, we can calculate a ‘stacked’ incentive for these few standardized water-conservation measures that recognizes the reduced water and wastewater infrastructure and operating costs created by water savings.” 

Because there will be electricity savings when less water is used, this project could increase the incentives available to Kingston Hydro and Utilities Kingston customers, making the water-conservation investment more attractive. It will also provide a “menu” of measures and incentives that would become standard, in order for customers to be aware of and to know what steps they need to take. It will also provide them with the knowledge of what incentives might be up-front.

Not only does this project have the potential to be adapted provincially; this is the first project that attempts to look at stacking water and electricity incentives in this way.

The project team includes students in the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program at St. Lawrence College, led by Adegboyega “Babs” Babasola, SEARC lead researcher. 

On the heels of launching a massive solar project at both the Kingston and Brockville campuses, SEARC and St. Lawrence College are proud to be a part of this project, which aligns with the College’s focus on community leadership and the promotion of environmental sustainability, said Gordon C. MacDougall, interim president and CEO of St. Lawrence College. 

“The resulting strategies for water and electricity conservation have the potential to not only benefit our local community in Kingston, but communities across Ontario as well,” said MacDougall. 

The team is being supported in their efforts by IndEco Strategic Consulting Inc. At the same time, it’s being funded by a grant from the OPA Conservation Fund, SEARC’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funded grant, funding and in-kind support from Utilities Kingston, and in-kind contributions from QIEEP. The total cost of the project is over $150,000.    

“Utilities Kingston is uniquely positioned to help with this innovative work as we manage City of Kingston owned electricity, water, and wastewater infrastructure.  As an integrated utility provider, we can offer one-call expertise and financial assistance to our customers on electricity and water conservation options,” said Sottile.

Currently, Kingston Hydro offers provincially funded electricity conservation incentives through delivery of “SaveOnEnergy” programs. More information can be found at Utilities Kingston offers water conservation incentives to commercial and institutional customers in support of water saving projects. To find out more on that incentive head to