Update: Council passes community energy and district energy plans

Council adopts plans that would set GHG reduction targets for Revelstoke and look at expanding district energy system.

Revelstoke council adopted the Community Energy and Emissions plans and District Energy Expansion Plan, setting the stage for the plans to be made into law and adopted in the city’s Official Community Plan.

The plans that would set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for Revelstoke, establish a blueprint for reaching those targets and look at expanding the district energy system.

City planning staff will no begin the process of drafting a bylaw for the Official Community Plan that would sign the plans into law. As well, a public open house will take place at the community centre on July 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Council was presented with two reports at its July 10 meeting – one exploring the expansion of the district energy system and the other looking at ways Revelstoke can reduce its emissions. The latter sets greenhouse gas reduction targets of eight per cent by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030.

The plans are based on environmental goals set out in the Official Community Plan. “District heating has the potential to help Revelstoke accomplish these goals by increasing energy self-reliance, keeping energy dollars in the community, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reinforcing Smart Growth principles, and providing further support for directing development towards existing neighbourhoods,” states the DEEP report.

The DEEP report explores expansion of the energy system to three areas – central Revelstoke & Southside, the highway corridor and Revelstoke Mountain Resort. It makes numerous recommendations, including:

– Directing development to high-density nodes in each neighbourhood.

– Developing policy to promote district heating in the highway corridor, including potentially making it mandatory for new buildings.

– Talking to RMR about its future development plans and potential use of the district energy system.

It also recommends having smaller energy plants in the resort and highway areas rather than relying solely on the existing biomass plant in order to reduce piping costs.

“Link pipe costs to deliver heat to the Resort and Highway Corridor areas are too high to justify connecting these neighbourhoods to a central plant,” the report states. “As well, neighbourhood scale plants are easier to phase and less susceptible to financial risks associated with stranded or under-utilized equipment.”

The CEEP report looks at Revelstoke’s current energy emissions and sets out strategies for reaching reduction goals. “CEEP is a dynamic and thorough plan that will inform the future planning and decision making processes of City of Revelstoke,” the report states. “CEEP will encourage and facilitate energy conservation and GHG emission reduction at the community level.”

The plan makes 17 recommendations to achieve the targets set out. They include:

– Focusing development to increase density and make use of the district energy system;

– Encouraging alternate transportation options such as cycling, car sharing and walking.

– Expanding the district energy system;

– Promoting energy-efficient building and development;

– Implementing curbside recycling for all homes and businesses and working on curbside organics pickup;

– Implementing a comprehensive public education campaign for both homeowners and businesses.

“Successful implementation requires collaboration between the City of Revelstoke, the public, local organizations and businesses and other partners that have been identified throughout the CEEP process,” the report states.

Do you think Revelstoke can achieve it’s greenhouse gas reduction target of 15 per cent by 2030? Answer our online poll and post your comments below.

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