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City of Nelson recognized for leading by example in saving energy

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
November 6th, 2012

The City of Nelson was recently recognized for leading by example at the recent FortisBC PowerSense Awards.

The city received two awards — one for the natural gas savings achieved through boiler retrofits at City Hall and the Civic Centre, and another — a Fortis Conservation Leadership Award — for the EcoSave Energy Retrofits Program.

“These projects are all about getting the City’s house in order and leading by example through our own energy reductions before asking the community to make reductions within their own homes through the EcoSave program,” Nelson Mayor John Dooley said in a press release.

The two boiler retrofits reduced natural gas consumption at City Hall by 34 percent and Civic Centre by 31 percent in the first six months of 2012.

The boiler upgrade started in 2010 and was completed in late 2011.  Projects of this scale involve a large amount of planning and staff involvement throughout the process. 

Dooley said success of this project is due, in a large part, to the dedication of City staff in addressing challenges along the way and seeing the retrofits through to their completion.

The EcoSave Energy Retrofits Program encourages Nelson Hydro customers homeowners to register for a Home Energy Assessment.

The program gives homeowners access to a home energy assessment at a reduced cost, access to rebates through LiveSmart BC, and low interest financing loans for energy efficiency retrofits.

More than 250 Nelson homes have registered for the assessment to date with many already completing energy retrofits ranging from weather stripping to new high efficiency furnaces or heat pumps.

The program is an overwhelming success, exceeded its two-year pilot phase target in only three months.

The two projects are part of the Corporate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction and Community Energy and Emissions plan, passed by Council in 2010.

The focus is to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions within city operations and the community as a whole.

The Corporate GHG plan outlines the steps required to achieve a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2015. 

Energy reductions achieved through the City Hall and Civic Centre boiler retrofits accounts for nine percent of the total corporate greenhouse gas emissions, putting the city more than one-third of the way towards the 2015 target of a 25 percent reduction.

Council has also established a community wide57 percent reduction in per capita GHG emissions(from seven to three tonnes per year) by 2040.

The PowerSense Conservation Awards are handed out annually as part of FortisBC’s annual PowerSense month activities. PowerSense month highlights FortisBC’s commitment to energy efficiency and the need to reduce energy consumption.

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