Thursday April 24, 2014

City moves forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Effort includes monitoring of energy use and anti-idling campaign

City council has authorized spending $54,000 in each of the next two years to monitor energy use at its buildings and facilities and an additional $20,000 to promote an anti-idling campaign.

City energy management co-ordinator Luisa Mora told council Tuesday the Sustainable Kamloops plan adopted in 2010 mapped out several priorities, including greenhouse gas reductions that were “quite aggressive.”

One of the goals was to reduce the City’s corporate greenhouse gasses by 45 percent by 2020. The money to cover the initiatives will come from a climate action fund the City has already established, so additional taxation won’t be needed.

The utility monitoring can identify areas where energy can be saved, or where retrofitting would reduce costs, she said.

Fleet management, workplace awareness and reporting options are also part of the effort.

Mora said the City knows how much it’s spending on energy costs, but it doesn’t know where and it doesn’t know what can be improved. That’s what the two-year monitoring is about.

“We're looking at implementing utility monitoring and tracking to bring down operation energy and cost by $269,000, as well as enhance project and asset planning,” she said.

In 2010, 60 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Kamloops that didn’t come from industry were from transportation, Mora said.

That’s why the anti-idling campaign is an important part of the greenhouse gas reduction strategy.

Coun. Ken Christian said the effort to reduce energy use will result in fewer greenhouse gasses, but also monetary savings.

“What doesn't get measured doesn't get changed. The plan needs to be nimble, flexible. It has to compensate for winter heating and summer cooling,” he said.

He also applauded the anti-idling campaign, saying exposure for children is much more drastic than it is for adults. He suggested working with the school district to stop idling around schools and day cares.

Coun. Nancy Bepple, who is short in stature, said it’s not just children who are more affected by idling. Shorter people have something to gain from the campaign, she said.

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