Articles

ÉnerCible – Managing Hydro-Québec’s Buildings Program

December 19, 2016

For three years, we successfully managed Hydro-Québec’s Buildings Program to promote energy efficiency among commercial, institutional and multi-unit residential buildings. Our work met or exceeded all targets and earned us a 2016 Award of Excellence at the annual Grands prix du génie-conseil québécois. 

In 2011, SNC-Lavalin’s Building specialists were contracted by Hydro-Québec, to market and manage Hydro-Québec’s Buildings program, which offers financial incentives to real estate owners so that they can increase the energy efficiency of their buildings. In addition to reducing total power usage, our mandate involved popularizing the program and assisting asset owners with the various technical challenges involved in reducing the energy consumption of their facilities.

Combining market knowledge with technical expertise

Energy-efficiency programs are often held back because end clients have trouble navigating technical aspects, which can differ significantly from one sector to another. Since our team included people with diverse skill sets—ranging from building engineers to business specialists—we were able to reach a broad range of audiences and offer building owners the support they needed to apply for subsidies. 

Our strategy included developing a market segmentation strategy to adapt marketing tools and terminology to the various segments and client types. To make the process smoother from a technical standpoint, we also created simplified computational tools and made them available to clients free of charge. This significantly contributed to the number of customized projects that in the past would have required complex simulation software.

By the end of our mandate, thousands of projects had received subsidies that made a significant difference for almost $125 million in energy efficiency investments. 

Benefitting the environment and the economy

Improving building performance can have a major impact on a company’s environmental footprint and bottom line. When those benefits are multiplied by the thousands of projects that SNC-Lavalin’s Buildings professionals facilitated, the results are truly impressive. In total, the program’s impact on the Quebec economy over three years is estimated at CA$250 million.

Exceeding client requirements

At the project’s outset, Hydro-Québec set some ambitious targets, which our teams worked tirelessly to attain. After three years of effort, we had met or exceeded every single indicator.


Target Result
Reduce electricity consumption by 900 GWh 925 GWh reduction
Manage the public subsidy budget efficiently and in a responsible manner Exceeded budget control objectives by exceeding all KPIs
Adhere to the highest standards in ethics and business conduct 100% score in ethics compliance
Increase market activity and training
  • Significant improvement program perception
  • Increased requests from all markets, including equipment distributors and small-scale contractors
  • Training provided to hundreds of participants