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The Save on Energy Retrofit Program incentives covered almost 50% of cost for energy efficiency upgrades that improved the Rideau Hall Ballroom lighting that reduced both maintenance costs and electricity costs

Located in the heart of Canada’s Capital Region, Rideau Hall is the official home and principal workplace of the Governor General of Canada. Since 1867, this functioning residence has been a national gathering place where the Governor General lives, honours great Canadians, hosts foreign dignitaries and performs the daily duties of Canada’s Head of State.

Designated as a Historic Site in 1977, Rideau Hall is one of six official residences the National Capital Commission (NCC) is dedicated to managing, preserving and updating while keeping the environment and each buildings’ unique heritage character in mind. 
Recently the NCC announced its mandate to minimize its carbon footprint by thirty per cent over the next five years. So, when the facility managers heard about the Save on Energy incentives offered through their local , Ottawa Hydro, participating was one big step in the right direction.


Ronald Drummond, Energy Manager at the National Capital Commission, knows all too well how challenging it can be to maintain the historical integrity of a building while striving to achieve modern energy efficiencies. When the inefficient, outdated light bulbs needed replacing in the Ballroom—a grand room of national significance used for functions and honouring notable Canadians— the facility managers needed to ensure that its authenticity wasn’t compromised. The NCC and Senior Management from the Governor General’s Office consulted with representatives at Ottawa Hydro to fulfill each step of the process. The scope of the work included the replacement of hundreds of incandescent light bulbs in the wall sconces as well as in the delicate and priceless chandelier.

“Lighting quality and maintenance challenges are always top of mind because of the importance of the room,” says Drummond. “We needed to find a way to modernize the room while preserving its heritage.” Achieving this was possible with an LED candelabra bulb. The LED bulb maintains the same look and feel of the old incandescent bulbs, with similar light output and colour, but reduces the electricity consumption by over 80 per cent. “The bulbs that were in place before, typically failed within a year. The LED bulbs that are there now are projected to last seven times longer than that.”

The National Capital Commission has seen great success from the lighting retrofits in the Ballroom and is currently evaluating another retrofit project at Rideau Hall to change out the remaining 2,500 incandescent bulbs to LED

“We are thrilled with the results of our lighting project,” says Drummond. “With a Save on Energy Retrofit Program incentive covering almost 50 per cent of costs, the National Capital Commission improved the Rideau Hall Ballroom lighting by reducing maintenance and operating costs.”

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