Arden heating smart

Sherry Elwood -
Sherry Elwood
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Upgrades to Arden Elementary School’s heating system will conserve energy and save the school district about $3,200 each year.

The school will receive a $721,000 Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA) grant for upgrades that will include the installation of high-efficiency gas condensing boilers and high-efficiency gas fired condensing heaters, the provincial government announced this week.

“It’s good news,” superintendent Sherry Elwood said Monday as she shared the announcement with school trustees. “We were surprised because it’s been on a list for a long time ... it may not have been at the top of our list, but it’s always good to get money from the government.

“Arden is one of our older elementary schools. It’s a school that is going to be full to capacity in the next couple of years and potentially needing some upgrades around space, and having a new heating and lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system is good news for us.”

Upgrades to the energy control system will optimize the operation of heating and ventilation equipment to achieve gas consumption reductions, according to a press release from the provincial government.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, these upgrades are going to reduce annual operations and maintenance costs to the school district, it noted.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) will be reduced by 11 tonnes per year, saving just over $3,200 annually, according to the release.

“These energy cost savings can now be directed to some other vital part of our children’s education,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae.

The PSECA is a provincial partnership between Terasen Gas, BC Hydro, SolarBC and Natural Resources Canada through which partners provide capital funding and/or technical support for public sector energy proposals.

Terasen Gas and the provincial government are providing $6.9 million for 35 energy projects in 10 school districts to reduce GHG emissions, energy consumption and energy costs.

The combined annual energy savings from the 35 projects are estimated at nearly $720,000, along with annual GHG reductions of 2,765 tonnes — equal to taking 529 passenger vehicles off the road.

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