Courtenay continuing to reduce carbon footprint

Lighting retrofits, solar pool covers and applications to be part of a pilot project for electric vehicles are some of the steps Courtenay is taking to reduce its carbon footprint.
City staff provided an update on the Corporate Climate Action Strategy to councillors Monday.

Lighting retrofits, solar pool covers and applications to be part of a pilot project for electric vehicles are some of the steps Courtenay is taking to reduce its carbon footprint.

City staff provided an update on the Corporate Climate Action Strategy to councillors Monday.

“We’ve focused on several key strategic areas, electrical retrofits,” said Tillie Manthey, director of financial services. “We have pretty much held our own in terms of our carbon footprint. This past year, we noticed an increase in fuel consumption due to a greater number of snow days that required more snow removal. Overall, we can report that we’re heading in the right direction.”

The City of Courtenay signed onto the Province of B.C.’s Climate Action Charter in October 2007, and the City has committed to developing strategies and taking action to achieve carbon-neutral municipal operations by 2012.

The City continues to work with BC Hydro on energy efficiency upgrades for municipal buildings. A lighting retrofit was completed at the Linc in March, and five other municipal buildings will undergo lighting retrofits this year, according to the report. Once these are completed, the City will qualify for a $25,000 BC Hydro energy efficiency grant, it noted.

Beginning this month, Courtenay City Hall will undergo an exterior retrofit, a project that will include resealing the windows and replacing the exterior building lighting.

The furnace at public works will be upgraded to a new air source heat pump.

“The results will see a decrease in natural gas and electricity consumption,” noted the staff report. “This system will also improve the indoor air quality of the building.”

In May, the City received funding from FortisBC to retrofit the Courtenay and District Memorial Pool with a solar thermal loop and a thermal pool cover. This is expected to reduce the City’s corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 tonnes and is expected to result in annual savings of $15,000.

Courtenay has applied to be selected as a pilot municipality, which would provide an electric vehicle for the City fleet at the beginning of 2012.

The City’s parks department has installed in-ground waste containers and supplementary in-ground recycling containers in city parks, which will help reduce solid waste and reduce the frequency of pickups by compacting the waste and recycling.

The City has also purchased recycling containers that will be strategically located throughout downtown.

“I wanted to congratulate staff on really putting their minds to the issue of what we can do to reduce  greenhouse gases and get ourselves to that place we want to be by 2012,” said Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard. “They’re doing a really good job.”

Coun. Jon Ambler noted there are those who believe in climate change and those who don’t, but he felt people on both sides would likely approve of the steps Courtenay is taking.

“It doesn’t matter which side you are in that argument in this case because what we’re doing makes economic sense, as well as greenhouse gas sense,” he said. “It makes good economic sense for the City of Courtenay to be going ahead with these green plans, and as long as we continue to be doing that, I think you’re going to be endorsed by both sides of the debate.”

Courtenay is one of the leaders in the province in corporate climate action, administrator Sandy Gray told councillors.

“We’re a long ways to addressing many issues … but we’re certainly out there, we’re being very proactive, and council’s been very supportive of staff,” he said.

City staff’s next steps include establishing measurement and evaluation processes, working with major contractors of the city to initiate plans for their respective business, completing municipal building retrofits, applying for grants and funding, and implementing building retrofit priorities.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One of the rescues at CATS - Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society’s new location on Knight Road in Comox. Photo by Erin Halushak
Feline rescue organization growing into new space

Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society opens new facility on Knight Road

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

VIDEO: Courtenay Nissan hosting YANA fundraiser

Courtenay Nissan is hosting a special YANA fundraiser all weekend long, from… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

The Courtenay Fire Department hopes to start a new recruit training program in mid-2021, pending Provincial Health Orders. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay Fire Department gets creative

Due to public health orders resulting from COVID, the Courtenay Fire Department… Continue reading

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read