Buildings - the energy we use
According to the latest inventory, provided by the Province, 30% of Kelowna’s GHG emissions came from the use of natural gas and electricity in buildings for heating and cooling, lighting, running appliances and heating hot water.
What You Can Do (and how you can save money)
Residents and businesses can significantly help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing home energy use. This can be a combination of behaviour changes (for example turning down the heat or hanging clothes to dry) or doing energy efficient upgrades and retrofits.
There are a variety of incentives to help reduce energy consumption including:
- Okanagan Energy Diet - Drop some gigawatts and lose some gigajoules! City Council agreed to provide $25 per home, for up to 1000 Kelowna homes that take part in the program. With a further $340 in funding provided by FortisBC and LiveSmart BC, participants pay only $35 of the $400 pre-assessment cost. As a participant, you will get help improving your home’s energy efficiency with a low cost home assessment, access to rebates and opportunities for financing through FortisBC.
- Efficiency Incentive Program - This popular LiveSmart BC program offers financial incentives for upgrades to insulation and mechanical ventilation for residents who have completed a home energy efficiency assessment.
- BC Small Business Program - This LiveSmart BC program is designed to help small businesses improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs through free Business Energy Advisor (BEA) services.
FortisBC also offers a variety of rebates and incentives through its Natural Gas and Electrical PowerSense energy efficiency programs.
What We Are Doing
The City of Kelowna is doing retrofits on several city buildings including installation of higher efficiency boilers and lighting. Further, energy efficient design is incorporated into new buildings such as the new Parkinson Activity Center. As a BC Solar Community, Kelowna has several solar initiatives including installing solar powered lights in community parks and paths, and solar equipped transit shelters and parking meters.
The City is also encouraging alternative energy options in the community. In 2011, Kelowna voluntarily signed on to the BC Building Code Solar Hot Water Ready regulation for single family homes. The City is also exploring the use of renewable district energy and is implementing a landfill gas to pipeline project in conjunction with FortisBC.
Fortis BC recently acknowledged the City for its energy efficiency expansion at the Waste Water Treatment Facility. The efficiencies allow the City to save over 3.7 million kWh and receive a $300,000 rebate from FortisBC for the project.
Michelle Kam and Tracy Guidi
City of Kelowna
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