City of Richmond takes lead in reducing energy use
16 September 2016
A reduction of over 6,800 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions, approximately $2.4 million in cost avoidance and over 48 gigawatts of energy use savings since 2008 are the results of the City of Richmond’s strong commitment to battling climate change. Richmond is continuing to make new commitments to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and those efforts are earning national and international recognition.
“Richmond has long been a champion of energy conservation, which has paid both environmental and economic benefits for our community,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “With the threat of climate change becoming an increasing international concern, Richmond is strengthening its efforts in these areas to protect the long-term sustainability of our community.”
In support of reaching the community GHG reduction target of 33% below 2007 levels by 2020, Richmond City Council recently endorsed a target to reduce GHG emissions from corporate buildings by 65% from 2007 levels by 2020. In addition to creating a healthier and more sustainable community, achieving these emission reductions corporately will position Richmond as a leader in corporate emissions management in Canada; enable the City to further promote energy awareness; and show its community partners a pathway for achieving the same outcome.
Meanwhile, the Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU), already recognized by provincial, national, and international agencies for sustainable energy generation, won System of the Year from the International District Energy Association (IDEA) for 2016. This award elevates the City’s reputation internationally, inspiring other communities to take similar efforts. The ADEU uses thermal energy from the ground to centralize energy production for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water heating in Richmond’s West Cambie neighbourhood.
A recent expansion of ADEU increased the overall energy centre footprint by adding two 2,550 kilowatt (kW) evaporative fluid coolers and three 1,500 kW condensing boilers while still leaving enough space for future expansions. The newly expanded ADEU system is now providing renewable energy to 1,135 residential units and the Richmond Ismaili Jamatkhana, eliminating approximately 700 tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually compared to conventional energy systems. Beginning this fall, major commercial tenants at the Central at Garden City complex will be served by ADEU, including Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and Marshalls. This is a first in North America.
For all its efforts, the City of Richmond has also been recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for its implementation of corporate and community climate actions. The City achieved the fourth and fifth milestones in FCM’s Partners for Climate Protection Five Milestone Program. Milestone Four recognizes the City’s public reporting on the implementation of its climate action initiatives and the City’s work with partner organizations (including the Richmond School District, BC Hydro, Fortis BC, TransLink, the BC Sustainable Energy Association and the David Suzuki Foundation). Milestone Five recognizes the City’s reporting out on updated GHG emission inventories and the ongoing engagement of the public and stakeholders. The City’s work is delivering results; recent inventories are showing that greenhouse gas emissions from 2012, the latest inventory year, were 6.1% less than they were in 2007, despite the City’s population growth of 6.5% in the same period.
The City is currently launching an opportunity for local businesses. The City, with support from Fortis BC, recently launched a new Pre-Rinse Spray Valve Program. Through the program, food service establishments will receive a free replacement high efficiency spray valve, new faucet aerators and an energy assessment to identify other savings. To be eligible for the program, food service establishments must be located in Richmond and have an already existing pre-rinse spray valve installed in their establishment. The free high efficiency pre-rinse spray valve is only offered as a replacement. Please note that the program is available until October 31, 2016 and that free high efficiency pre-rinse spray valves, faucet aerators, and opportunities assessments are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lastly, the City has continued to comment on the development of the province’s Climate Leadership Plan, calling for strong provincial policy to aid in meeting emissions goals. The City is committed to advancing Richmond’s leadership on climate action, making progress on GHG reduction targets and improving the overall sustainability of Richmond.
For more information on the EnergySave Richmond incentive programs, including the new Spray Valve program, please visit: https://energy.richmond.ca/
For more information on the Energy Management Program please visit: http://www.richmond.ca/sustainability/energysrvs/energy-emissions/energymanagement.htm
For more information on the Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU) please visit: http://www.richmond.ca/sustainability/energysrvs/districtenergy/energyutility.htm?PageMode=HTML
For more information on the City’s community energy programs, please visit:
https://energy.richmond.ca/ and http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/2015_CEEP_Update43196.pdf