Toronto’s Green Theatres program, our initiative to start a movement towards energy efficient, low carbon footprint theatre facilities, has begun with the first of seven energy audits of Toronto theatres! With the support of the City of Toronto, and after much research and discussion with our environmental colleagues here at the Centre for Social Innovation, we chose an independent energy audit firm, Carbon Count, to undertake energy audits for seven Creative Trust companies – Factory Theatre, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Tafelmusik, Tarragon Theatre, The Theatre Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto Dance Theatre/STDT. As I type, the first audit (on Toronto Dance Theatre/STDT) has just been completed and engineer and Carbon Count owner Anthony Marshall is preparing the utilities analysis for two more theatres before site visits this week.
The audits allow companies to see where they are using the most energy and measures they could take to lower their consumption. Our fabulous “auditing firm” even provides figures showing the potential savings and calculates how long it would take for the savings to pay off the initial investment. Everyone is excited to see what commonalities arise as we move through the other audits and we are planning some roundtables at the completion of the project so that collectively we can create resources and suggest best practices for our peers as they look at their own venues and building projects.