Energy Management & Conservation Plan again

In Council December 2nd agenda there is a revised summary report for a corporate energy management and conservation plan; the background data/statistics and the specific proposed actions are in appendix A.   (It is a revision to the report presented at an earlier Council meeting which was referred back to Staff.)  I am very disappointed that Staff is recommending that we reduce our target of a 45% reduction in GHG by 2030 which Council unanimously adopted  5 months ago.  I am opposed as there is no rationale except that we don’t know exactly how we will achieve it and we know that it will be difficult to accomplish.  45 % is a bodacious target and its based on science.  The new proposed lower one is neither. I totally agree that any changes in service levels needs to carefully considered with community consultation which was erroneously not defined in the original report.  Page 46 of Appendix A identifies possible projects over next 3 years for reducing GHG and energy consumption; actual execution will be a function of budget deliberations and identifying other funding sources.  We need to have a 10 year plan identifying the possibilities for achieving 45%.

As I have noted already  some specific possible projects over the next 3 years are identified in the report.  In addition the report reviews both initiatives already underway and other ones to be considered.

  • One already done is 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)  Seems to me that these savings should be “assigned” to our energy management reserve.  (As note in the report it is extremely small currently at $25,000)
  • 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.
  • On the opportunity list is divesting 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.  (To clarify how this fits with an energy plan:  “older” assets are less energy efficient than new ones; hence either capital needs to be spent.)
  • On the opportunity list is eliminating summer ice usage until there is more sustainable operational capacity.  This is bold, some would call outrageous idea; but, given the statistics about its operational cost  ($70,000 annually, and requires  equivalant of 2-4% GHG) we need to consider it.  The analysis, including community consultation needs to look at usage levels, alternatives.
  • Obvious opportunity is 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.  This opportunity is recommendation 4 in Appendix A page 29.
  • On page 34 of Appendix A 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. In addition there is the idea of an anti-idling policy for our fleet.

I prefer to have bold targets and to push ourselves to achieve them.  A 10 year goal of 45% is right for us.  We may not achieve it; but for sure we will not if we target lower.



4 Responses to “ “Energy Management & Conservation Plan again”

  1. Victoria Volds says:

    Maybe King City Hall can turn off some of it’s lights to save our environment? I drive by every night and all the lights are on. Why is this so? It must be costing money and hurting the planet.

    • Debbie says:

      Hello Victoria….I will check on this but I believe most lights are off as of 11PM. I recall a very late Council meeting several months ago when the interior lights did go out and we had to use lights on phones until Staff was able to override the programming. Exterior lights are left on to some extent. For your information interior rooms have lights which are motion sensitive hence during the day they are on only if they are occupied.

  2. Angela Rose says:

    I think it’s a mistake to look at cost savings. We have no control over cost but we can look at opportunities/means to lower usages

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