How To Meet Our 45% Reduction in GHG

On Council agenda for Nov. 18 there is the Staff report for Township’s Corporate Energy Management and Conservation Plan 2019-2023.  It has been drafted to align with the aggressive target of 45% reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by 2030.  The report is comprehensive in defining sources of GHG, positive initiatives & impact thereof already underway, options for reducing GHG.  The required investments for the latter is not yet fully defined and accordingly how we will fund them is still uncertain.  As indicated the upcoming budget process will start to address the latter.  I am optimistic after studying the report:  the necessary analysis of current state has been done; we have already done some worthwhile projects; specific recommendations are identified.

When Council approved the conversion of our street lights to LED I don’t think we truly appreciated the total impact of this.  Given electricity price trends Staff is forecasting a 72-76% energy cost reduction; in addition given the longevity of LED lamps there is a $30,000 annual savings.  For me the big surprise is the benefit of the adaptive control system for which we have a 5 year license which allows for remote monitoring and controls; a 25% reduction in overall annual hours of operation is forecasted.  (see page 11 of report for more information.)

The report contains some very specific recommendations

Eliminate summer ice usage until there is more sustainable operational capacity; doing so saves $70,000 annually and reduces the equivalant of 2-4% GHG.  I am interested to know how many will be negatively affected but the impact is significant and must be considered.

At last Council we approved a contract for a Structural & Energy Audit of our facilities;  this data will enable us to wisely increase capital budgets to allow for energy efficient retrofits.  The latter is recommended in this report.

The 3rd recommendation of this report is the need to divest facilities and/or fleet that have been replaced and/or no longer required to meet service levels.  We need to make these tough choices; and they need to be made in a very transparent manner and the public has an important role in making those choices.

The 4th recommendation is about using renewable energy.  This is not a new idea for this Council.  To date, with exception of the solar at Trisan we have passed on this opportunity on  new structures because of capital constraints.  I personally advocated for solar installation on our new Municipal Centre; due to capital and fact that its location for such is not ideal we decided not to do but we did do design work to enable installation later. I know that it was a very tough decision to not install on the new KC Library and Seniors Centre due to capital constraint.

There are several recommendations to reduce GHG emitted by the fleet.  i) Replacing vehicles, as appropriate given age, with “green” options:  electric, hybrid, or use of alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas. ii) install network of charging stations.  iii) re-assess and re-organize the vehicle fleet.

Implement an anti-idling policy for our fleet.  In addition to how this would reduced our GHG emissions I also see this as a valuable tool to change behavior in the community overall.

As I said I am feeling optimistic about our ability to deliver the goal of 45% reduction.

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