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Pickering Recreation Centre undergoes extensive retrofit to trim energy waistline


With two ice pads, four tennis courts, six squash courts, two racquetball courts, five fitness areas, an aquatic centre, art studios, meeting rooms and a banquet hall facility covering 300,000 square feet, the Pickering Recreation Complex is no slouch.

But when the City of Pickering sat down with local hydro company Veridian Connections, to add up its overall electricity costs, it soon discovered the facility was getting a bit pudgy around the middle in terms of energy consumption.

“We decided to zero in on the building’s aging lighting system and a problematic chiller during the first phase of energy upgrades,” said Brian Duffield, Manager of Facilities Operations for the City of Pickering. “That was our low-hanging fruit, and we expected the energy savings to be considerable.”

Duffield and Gilbert Boehm, Supervisor, Energy Management at the City of Pickering’s City Development Department, weren’t disappointed when the savings from this project began to roll in, coordinated by Veridian Connections through the Save on Energy program. Indeed, they were pleasantly surprised to find other benefits as well.

“The previous fixtures required 15 minutes of warm-up time to get up to full power. Because of that, the lights were turned on first thing in the morning and stayed on all day, into late evening,” said Boehm. “Now the lights turn on right away, and we can even turn off entire banks of lighting and still have enough light to play on individual courts. It’s a real plus.”

In addition to energy savings over 200,000 kilowatt-hours, the facility has reduced maintenance costs due to the longer life span of LED lights, and patrons have also noted how much quieter it is throughout the building.

“We’ve had lots of comments about the improved quality of the lighting, but also the fact that it produces less noise,” said Duffield. “The new light fixtures have certainly eliminated the intrusive noise generated by the old lighting that used to be audible on the tennis courts.”
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