We are saving more than 3.75 million kW hours of electricity annually, reducing energy costs by $168,000 per year, in cooperation with FortisBC and its PowerSense program.
Improvements have been made to more than 80 city-owned facilities ranging from the Parkinson Recreation Centre and Memorial Arena to water and sewage treatment facilities. Signal lights have been replaced at 70 intersections with light emitting diodes providing a 90% savings in electricity. In addition new and retrofitted buildings take advantage of state-of-the-art energy efficient technology whenever practical.
We have become increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable building efforts in the overall scheme of environmental stewardship. The relationship between energy conservation and green house gas (GHG) reduction is a major issue. Air quality improvement through energy conservation is high on the priority list for residents, health care professionals and air quality specialists. In Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan, there is a strong interest to improve air quality and enhance energy and water conservation.
In 2004, we became involved in the Community Action on Energy Efficiency (CAEE) program and is currently involved in a Sustainable Building Pilot Project sponsored by Natural Resources Canada and the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines.
As part of this project we’ve heard loud and clear that the we need to send a “Green Message” out to the community and it needs to be done now. The message not only needs to be about buildings but it needs to encompass all sectors (government, transportation, environment, planning and utilities).
On April 20, 2005 Council adopted four action items and a strategy of accomplishment as outlined below:
- Provide Lean Green City Government
- Promote Active Transportation
- Encourage Environmental Practices
- Create Healthy Urban Centres
Lean & green city government
We will lead by example with practices that save money and improve the health of people and the environment.
- Improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing clean energy and using green vehicles
- Design and build City facilities that are economical and healthier for people and the environment
- Reduce City use of water, energy and other resources
- Switch to products that protect employee and community health and the environment
- Reduce City use of pesticides to a minimum in parks and on roads
Kelowna will continue to take steps to improve by promoting transportation choices (transit, bicycles, walking) that make our city more liveable and preserve green space.
- Support public transit
- Make Kelowna the most bike and pedestrian friendly city in the Okanagan
- Promote clean fuels and clean vehicles
- Build more sidewalks to connect communities, enhance public safety and encourage more walking
We will encourage businesses, residents and others to use resources more efficiently and to adopt environmentally responsible practices.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at home and at work
- Conserve the city’s water and energy resources
- Foster environmental awareness by providing programs and services that serve Kelowna’s diverse populations
Healthy urban centres
We will improve Kelowna’s quality of life, protect and restore the environment and enhance neighbourhood liveability.
- Preserve and increase Kelowna’s green spaces
- Enhance the water quality of Okanagan Lake and urban creeks
- Improve air quality and look for local solutions to global warming
- Promote sustainable healthy urban development that reduces environmental impacts on land, air and water
Commitment & goals
We have been committed to energy management since 1995 when the Energy Management Committee was formed to identify and implement ways to save money and conserve energy in civic facilities.
The Committee has four primary objectives:
- To promote the wise use of energy within municipal operating areas by providing department managers with information about available rebates and opportunities for reduced operating costs
- To prepare action plans for opportunities that demonstrate potential for capital cost savings and reduced operating costs through energy reduction, and to bring these forward for review as part of the budget process
- To use the money saved through energy rebates to pay for facility audits that will identify further energy-saving opportunities and cost savings
- To ensure all initiatives identified and undertaken are consistent with rebate opportunities and provide value-for-money.