As outlined in the Community Climate Action Plan, a large portion of the community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Kelowna can be credited to how we use energy. To help the community transition to lower GHG emissions (and consequently reduce energy use), we are working on several strategies and programs to help achieve our short-term 2023 GHG emissions reduction target:
- SEE THE HEAT thermal imaging camera program
- Energy efficiency in existing buildings
- Energy efficiency in new buildings
- Electric vehicles
- Corporate energy and GHG emissions reduction
To help address inefficient homes, we have partnered with FortisBC and the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) to offer the See the Heat thermal imaging camera program. Residents can borrow a thermal imaging camera that connects to a smart phone to learn more about the energy efficiency of their home (e.g. how well your house is insulated, how well doors and windows seal, what plug ins and outlets are particularly leaky, etc.)
- Borrow a thermal imaging camera kit from any Kelowna ORL branch. The kit includes:
- FLIR thermal imaging camera and case
- Charging cable
- Micro-USB to USB-C Adaptor (supplied for Android phone users)
- Kill-A-Watt Meter (to measure loads of electrical appliances)
- Instruction guides
- FortisBC draft-proofing kit (while quantities last)
- Note: Due to high demand, cameras are loaned for a maximum of seven days. There is a late fine of $1 per day. The replacement cost for lost or damaged cameras is $272.
- At home, follow the instructions in the Instruction Guide provided.
- Complete some minor retrofits using the FortisBC draft-proofing kit (if applicable). See the section on "Draft proofing support" for instructional videos on how to use the draft-proofing kit items.
- Return all of the borrowed items to your ORL branch so that the next patron may enjoy it. If you received one of the limited quantity FortisBC draft-proofing kits, it's yours to keep!
- Complete this QUICK SURVEY for a chance to win a prize.
The See the Heat program uses FLIR One imaging cameras. If you are having issues with the camera or want a better understanding of easy ways to use it in your own home, these support links may help:
- How to use the FLIR ONE thermal imaging camera
- Checking a house for missing insulation with FLIR ONE
- Tracking down moisture issues with Jason Cameron & FLIR ONE
- Thermal imaging 101 with FLIR ONE
For technical support, visit FLIR.CustHelp.com
View quick how-to videos on the materials included in the draft-proofing kit supplied with the camera:
- Reducing electrical switch and outlet drafts
- Insulate windows
- Weather-stripping a door
- Weather-stripping windows
The "Energy efficiency in existing buildings" section below outlines additional rebates and incentives you can access to continue to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
At the December 2, 2019 Council meeting, Council endorsed the general recommendations for staff to develop a Community Energy Retrofit Strategy (item 4.1). The Strategy will help guide policies and programs to reduce energy and GHG emissions in Kelowna's existing residential and commercial buildings.
Not sure where to start? There are several options to learn about energy efficiency opportunities for your home or business:
- Energy advisor support. A home energy evaluation from a Certified Energy Advisor will help you learn the best energy retrofit options available for your home and how to work energy efficiency retrofits into your renovation plans. You could be eligible to receive a $450 EnerGuide home evaluation rebate from the CleanBC Better Homes program and the City of Kelowna. This equates to 50-70 per cent rebate on the full cost of a pre and post EnerGuide Assessment!
- Kelowna's See the Heat program. Borrow a thermal imaging camera from one of Kelowna's Okanagan Regional Library branches to identify inefficient areas of your building. For more information, see the drop down menu above on See the Heat.
- Talk to an Energy Coach for FREE. The Energy Coach is a free coaching service for homeowners and commercial building owners and managers in BC provided through the Provincial Better Homes Program. Energy Coaches are trained energy efficiency specialists who provide building-science based information about the options and opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of your home or building.
- BC Housing Best Practice Guide: Air Sealing and Insulation Retrofits. Provided by BC Housing, this is a resource to learn about the options to improve the energy efficiency of your home through air sealing and insulation.
- FortisBC energy saving tips. Find low- and no-cost ways to save energy, plus buying advice for energy-efficient products.
Once you've identified some problems areas, it's time to fix them. Fortunately, there are many rebates available that cover a wide spectrum of energy efficient products and services. Visit the following links to find out how to save:
- CleanBC Better Homes. Find rebate incentives for your existing residential home, new residential home, existing commercial building, or new commercial building.
- FortisBC rebates and offers. FortisBC has a variety of rebates and offers for products and services to help make your home or business more energy efficient.
The Energy Step Code is a provincial policy that aims to create healthier, more efficient, and more comfortable buildings. Kelowna has adopted the Energy Step Code in advance of the Province making it mandatory. As of December 1, 2019, all Part 9 residential buildings must be designed and constructed to meet or exceed Step 1. Visit kelowna.ca/energystepcode for full details.
Transportation accounts for approximately 55 per cent of Kelowna's GHG emissions. We have been working to transition from our car centric culture by building more compact, complete communities and promoting cycling, walking, public transit and ride sharing. Electric vehicles (EVs) can also play a significant role in reducing transportation emissions and we are supporting the transition to this technology in a variety of ways.
The market growth for EVs is strong in BC. EVs now represent 10 per cent of overall automobile sales. This number will continue to grow as the Province of BC has set a target to require the sale of all new light-duty cars and trucks to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040. We are in the process of developing an Electric Vehicle Strategy to support this transition which will focus on:
- Charging requirements for new residential development. Over 80 per cent of EV charging occurs at home because it is the most convenient and reliable option. We are investigating policies to ensure residents will have affordable access to appropriate EV charging infrastructure in new residential buildings.
- Charging requirements for new non-residential development. EV charging at the workplace and in public commercial areas can allow more people to make the switch to owning an EV, especially those who do not have access to charging at home.
- Expanding public charging infrastructure. For EV owners that don't have at home charging or just need a top up, EV car sharing users, or out-of-town EV riders, public charging infrastructure can ensure that there is an option to charge when needed. See "EV charging" below for a list of current City operated charging stations.
Check back for more information as the Strategy evolves.
To support EV ownership in Kelowna, the City (in partnership with FortisBC) has installed:
- Two public level 2 charging stations. These are located at the Okanagan Heritage Museum. Level 2 chargers can charge a vehicle 20-30 per cent in approximately two hours and can provide a full charge in 4-5 hours for most battery electric vehicles.
- Four level 3 DC Fast charging stations. Two are located at the airport, one at the Okanagan Heritage Museum and one at Rutland Centennial Park. DC Fast charging stations can provide an 80 - 100 per cent charge in half an hour.
Private industry is also helping expand the community's EV charging network. Visit plugshare.com for an interactive map of locations of all EV chargers in Kelowna.
There are a variety of incentives for Kelowna residents who purchase a plug-in EV or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. These incentives can be combined so residents can get up to $14,000 off the purchase price of a qualifying battery electric vehicle (BEV) or $7,000 off the purchase price of a qualifying plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
- Eco-Pass. New EV owners can register for a free parking pass for a period of one-year that allows up to two hours per day of no-charge on-street parking in Kelowna.
- Federal Government's iZEV program. This program provides point-of-sale incentives up to $5,000 off the purchase price of qualifying new BEV, $2,500 - $5,000 on a PHEV (incentive amount depends on battery size), and up to $5,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
- BC Government's Clean Energy Vehicle Program (CEVforBC). CEVforBC offers point-of-sale incentives up to $3,000 off the purchase price of a qualifying new BEV, up to $1,500 for a PHEV, and up to $3,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
- BC Scrap-it Program. This is a voluntary early retirement vehicle program that provides incentives to help British Columbians replace higher polluting vehicles with cleaner forms of transportation. Incentives of up to $6,000 are available for a new, and $3,000 for a used qualifying EV.
Residents of BC can also access rebates for purchasing and installing an EV charging station at home through the CleanBC Go Electric BC Program. The ZAPBC program has a limited number of rebates available for the purchase and installation of ChargePoint Level 2 home chargers.
- Plug-In BC provides basic information about EVs and incentives for purchasing EVs and installing EV charging in your strata or workplace.
- FortisBC offers a variety of information on EVs and EV charging for residents in FortisBC electricity service territory (which includes Kelowna).
- BC Hydro offers information about EV models available in BC, the benefits of EVs, choosing the right EV charger, and other relevant EV information for BC residents. Note: Kelowna is not in BC Hydro's service territory so any grants offered to BC Hydro customers are not available for Kelowna residents.
- Plug-Share BC provides an interactive map of locations to charge your EV.
The City of Kelowna strives to be a leader in energy and GHG emissions reduction. The 2018 Corporate Energy and GHG Emissions Plan outlines policies and programs that will help us reduce GHG emissions from city-owned buildings, vehicle fleet, parks, street lighting, and infrastructure.
- LED street light conversion. In 2016, City Council endorsed the decision to convert approximately 10,000 street lights to LEDs. Annual electricity consumption has been reduced by 62 per cent (4.5 GWh per year), which is enough electricity to power more than 400 BC homes each year.
- Police Services building. This building uses the same amount of energy as the old Police Services building but has 2.5 times the floor area.
- Glenmore Landfill administration building. This building was designed to be 40 per cent more efficient than required by the BC Building Code. Underground earth tubes that air is passed through before entering the building help to reduce heating and cooling requirements.
- Low-carbon fleet conversion. Since 2011, the City has reduced our fleet's fuel consumption and GHG emissions by switching to 20 per cent bio-fuel and adding 19 hybrid and 1 battery electric vehicle. We are looking at funding opportunities to expand our EV fleet and the electrical charging infrastructure to support this transition.