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City Energy & Emissions Management

Buildings and Infrastructure

The City’s Energy Management Program (EMP) strives to effectively manage and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through;

  • Organizational engagement
  • Facilitating strong communication between departments
  • A robust operation and maintenance program
  • The ability to research and incorporate new alternative energy technologies within our energy system

Under Council’s guidance, the City has consistently shown leadership in corporate energy management, which has enabled the City to leverage a considerable amount of external funding to support and develop its program further. In addition to support funding, the City has received consistent recognition from external stakeholders.

Powersmart Leader

The City EMP contributes to the increased energy efficiency of the corporation, and is a significant component of the City's Corporate Carbon Neutrality achievement. Long term, the continuing support of the EMP is integral to the maintaining of the City's Climate Change Action Charter commitments and overall corporate sustainability related initiatives.

The City's EMP has continued to be successful in increasing the resource use efficiency of the corporation by focusing on three main action areas:

  1. Energy conservation – reduce the overall demand for energy (eg. increased energy use awareness and improved operational control to reduce waste).
  2. Energy efficiency – reduce the energy required for operations (eg. lighting retrofits to more efficient technologies)
  3. Renewable and clean energy - increase the use of renewable energy and reduce the carbon intensity of emissions (eg. installation of solar thermal energy systems)

Due to strong and consistent Council support of the City's EMP, the City continues to develop and implement corporate and community energy efficiency projects, and embed energy efficiency within the City's corporate culture.

EMP Achievements – 2008-2013 EMP Highlights
Energy conservation work at the City and energy related projects have cumulatively saved over 48.0 GWh of energy since 2008 (equal to the energy consumption in 1,200 Richmond single-family homes per year). In this same period, the City has avoided approximately $2,400,000 in total operational costs and over 6,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) (equal to emissions from 2,100 Richmond cars). Since 2008, the City has received over $1,700,000 in external funding that has supported expanded EMP projects and accelerated the repayment of project funding.

Current City Energy Management Program Highlights
In conjunction with the other City Departments, energy efficiency projects that have been recently completed are anticipated to save the City approximately 1,700,000 kWh in electricity and natural gas use (equal the power used in 44 homes in Richmond in a year) and avoid over $90,000 in operational costs. This total energy savings represents a reduction of approximately 2.8% of the overall City energy use, and will result in reduced emissions of over 260 tonnes of CO2e (equal to removing approximately 80 Richmond cars from our roads each year).

As part of the previous 2014-2015 EMP external funding agreement, the City committed to reduce electricity use by 1.3% or 523,000 kWh by April 2016 from 2014 levels. The City was able to exceed that target this past year through various energy reduction initiatives that are expected to reduce electricity use by 550,000 kWh.

Other select highlights of the City’s energy management program and other energy related corporate activities from 2015 include:

  • Program Recognition - The City of Richmond was awarded an honourable mention by Community Energy Association of BC for its natural gas reduction related initiatives at the Richmond Ice Centre that are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26%.
  • External Funding - Secured over $280,000 of external funding was leveraged to support the City and the Corporate Energy Management Program in 2015. 
  • Showcase Projects - Control and equipment optimization work at Watermania has resulted in significant reductions in natural gas use at that facility, and accounts for the majority of the anticipated energy savings from 2015 projects. Additional work is scheduled to be conducted in 2016 to further reduce natural gas use, and optimize equipment run time at the facility.
  • watermaniaPolicy Review - To help ensure that the City's building and equipment infrastructure that is developed by the City or by a third party is as standard as possible and meets a minimum level of energy efficiency, the City has created a Building Equipment, Monitoring and Integration Requirements document.
  • Building Controls - Upgrades to building automation systems at key corporate facilities is on-going, with projects at City Hall and the Works Yard almost complete. The City is working to complete upgrades to Thompson Community Centre, Gateway, Steveston Community Centre and the Library Cultural Centre through Phase 2 of the management plan.

The following main focus areas remain in place for the EMP for 2015:

  • Increase energy use awareness within the organization and show leadership in the community.
  • Pursue external funding and partnerships with outside agencies
  • Maintain a leadership role in municipal energy systems and policy
  • Improve the usability of energy use data at key facilities, to allow for more detailed analysis and the increased optimization of energy use.
  • Incorporate a more systematic approach to building energy use performance analysis in civic facilities, to allow for the continued improvement of facilities, and the extension of their usefulness.
  • Continue to ensure that energy use and GHG emission accounting (in relation to reduction goals) is a high priority during the designing of new facilities and developments.

The following key energy initiatives are in various stages of implementation, and are scheduled to be completed in 2015:city hall lighting

  • Solar photovoltaic renewable energy system installation at City Hall.
  • Heating plant and mechanical improvements at Watermania Aquatic Centre..
  • Completion of building automation system upgrades and improved energy monitoring capabilities at Thompson Community Centre and Gateway Theatre.
  • Lighting retrofits and heating system improvements at various facilities, including City Hall and various Fire Halls.

For further information, please see the links below with our Corporate Energy Management Update Reports, and the report summary brochure..

PDF Document 2015 Corporate Energy Management Update (Summary)
PDF Document 2015 Corporate Energy Management Update (Full Report)

For further information on past Corporate Energy reporting, please see the links below.

PDF Document 2014 Corporate Energy Management Update (Summary)
PDF Document 2014 Corporate Energy Management Update (Full Report)
PDF Document 2013 Corporate Energy Update Report – Summary
PDF Document 2013 Corporate Energy Update Report – Full Version
PDF Document 2012 Corporate Energy Update Report - Summary
PDF Document 2012 Corporate Energy Update Report - Full Version
PDF Document 2011 Energy Update Report - Summary
PDF Document 2011 Energy Update Report - Full Version
PDF Document 2010 Alexandra District Energy Utility By-law Report

For more information on the ADEU, please contact John Irving, Director of
Engineering, at 604-276-4140 or

Levi Higgs
Corporate Energy Manager
Phone: 604-244-1239

Alen Postolka
District Energy Manager
Phone: 604-276-4283