The municipality of Summerland has won an award for its efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

The municipality of Summerland has won an award for its efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland wins FortisBC Efficiency in Action Award

Energy upgrades

Summerland’s efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in municipal operations have been recognized by FortisBC through an Efficiency in Action Award.

Specific actions taken by the municipality include completing detailed energy audits on all 12 major municipal buildings, replacing aging heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment with newer high-efficiency and heat pump options, upgrading all standard streetlights as well as lighting in the arena complex to LEDs, and installing a water treatment for the arena that eliminated the need for hot water when building and resurfacing ice.

These efforts will save the community more than $80,000 a year in energy costs and are contributing to Summerland’s efforts to become carbon neutral in operations.

The award was announced at a virtually hosted ceremony on Oct. 22.

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“We are thrilled to have received this recognition of our community’s commitment to reducing energy use in our buildings.” said acting mayor Doug Holmes.

“Council’s six strategic priorities include infrastructure investment, good governance and community resilience, and this award shows that we’re making progress on each of those. Saving energy means saving our taxpayers money, and reducing our environmental impact is something we know our community is passionate about. We look forward to continuing these efforts with even more reductions as we move forward with our refreshed corporate climate action plan.”

The municipality is updating its corporate climate action plan and the final draft expected to be presented to council and the community this fall.

The plan will lay out priority items to further increase energy efficiency, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and save the community money spent on municipal buildings and fleet vehicles.

An updated community energy and emissions reduction plan was approved by council in February, laying out a plan to help residents and businesses also reduce their emissions and energy expenditures.

Each year, FortisBC hosts the Efficiency in Action Awards to showcase the work organizations of all sizes in B.C. are doing to achieve energy savings in new buildings, commercial upgrades and industrial operations.

“We’re proud to recognize the District of Summerland for their year-over-year commitment and exemplary leadership to identify and complete energy efficient upgrades across their municipality,” said Danielle Wensink, director, conservation and energy management, FortisBC.

She added that FortisBC has a goal of reducing customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

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