Reduce or reuse? Edmonton aims for both in new downtown energy scheme

By District Energy posted 01-29-2018 00:00

  

Elise Stolte, Edmonton Journal

The sun shines through steam as it rises high above the roofline of the London District Energy building. CRAIG GLOVER / CRAIG GLOVER/THE LONDON FREE PRE

Summary

An expert citizens’ panel just saved the city from what could have been a major misstep in reducing energy use in its downtown buildings. 

The first versions of a complex franchise agreement with Calgary’s Enmax to run a new heating system had the city agreeing to buy all 27 megawatts of new heat energy, even if it upgraded its buildings and no longer needed the heat.

Now Edmonton plans to first look at retrofitting its 10 downtown buildings before it commits to an expensive new heat-sharing system.

Enmax said it will launch a marketing campaign to sign up private developers to mitigate the risk.

City councillors heard the details and this new qualified support from its 15-member energy transition citizen advisory committee Monday. Energy audits will go to city council before officials request the next $6.7 million for construction.

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