Regional Energy Coordinator, City of Charlottetown
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Bringing energy efficiency to everyone’s work
Hammad Ahmed does work that is near and dear to his heart. Early lessons in energy efficiency set the stage for a successful career in sustainable design.
Growing up, Hammad’s parents were energy conscious. They encouraged simple actions such as turning off lights when leaving the house and looking for energy star certified products. As he learned more about climate change, and the role the energy sector played as one of the most polluting industries in the world, he became increasingly interested in being part of the solution.
While studying engineering at the University of Prince Edward Island, Hammad learned the school would soon offer sustainable design engineering. He attended the information session and found it interesting, so he enrolled. Everything came full circle — his academic interests intersected with his childhood teachings and the values that had become important to him.
Today, Hammad is an energy coordinator for the City of Charlottetown. He works on exciting projects that he is passionate about. Whether he’s working on electric vehicle charging programs or anti-idling policy, he is happy he gets to make a difference. Working for a municipality, he gets to see the effects of his work firsthand. As the capital city, other municipalities have adopted best practices inspired by the work done at the City of Charlottetown.
Hammad’s team was instrumental in the project launch of Switch Charlottetown, a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) approach program. The program is a 0% interest financing mechanism where homeowners can get up to $40,000 for energy upgrades. PACE has been successful in other parts of North America — Hammad and his team learned from the experiences and mistakes of these earlier programs. Switch Charlottetown was adopted as Switch Stratford in Stratford, P.E.I., and Switch Wolfville in Wolfville, N.S. Together, they represent Canada’s first multi-provincial PACE program.
Hammad currently works on a retrofit program for all municipal-owned buildings in Charlottetown. He and his team are doing energy efficiency upgrades on community centers, sports facilities, city hall, fire stations, and other buildings.
While he’s an engineer, there’s a lot of policy involved in his work. There’s a lot of technical and contracting work involved, too. He has come to realize that the energy efficiency field is vast — you don’t have to be an electrical engineer, the sector holds opportunities for people from all walks of life.
He hopes his story inspires others to be more energy efficient and make room for energy efficiency in their work.
“Everyone goes through their own journey. I would like everyone to find their own ways to come to that realization that we need to do something for our planet and climate change is real.”
He believes that every field of work has room for green technology. “ I would like to inspire and challenge each and every individual who reads this to implement renewables and energy efficiency within your course of work, be it energy efficiency through reducing your time on your computer, turning off the light when you leave your office, buying an energy star product, or whatever you choose to do.”