Neighbourhood energy centre guidelines
- Outline the City's expectations and set standards for new energy centres
- Guide the City's evaluation and approval of energy centre projects
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of the City and other regulatory authorities
To be considered, energy centres must be capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50% or more compared to traditional heating sources.
Neighbourhood energy utility systems must adapt to a wide variety of renewable waste energy options.
Regardless of fuel source, energy centres must not compromise air quality.
Waste from sewage systems is the preferred energy source for energy centres.
When energy centres supply approximately 70% of the annual energy demand for heat, their sewage heat recovery systems must eliminate over 60% of carbon emissions.
If waste wood is used as fuel, it must be clean waste wood. Suppliers must confirm their sources do not contribute to environmentally unsustainable practices.
The strategy targets areas with:
- Existing steam heat plants
- High-density development potential
- Existing buildings that could connect to neighbourhood energy centres
Target areas include Downtown, Central Broadway, and the Cambie Corridor. Energy centres must look and function as part of the community, particularly in regard to noise, odour, and traffic impacts.
Communities will be part of the planning process, and have access to information about ongoing operations for energy centres in their area.
The City will continue to work with property developers on issues, including:
- Incremental costs of hydronic equipment
- Energy centre connection standards
- Building-scale carbon reduction opportunities
Neighbourhood energy centre benefits
There are many benefits to energy centres in addition to the environmental benefits.
A neighbourhood energy utility is self-funded, and will provide a return on investment to taxpayers and competitive rates to customers.
Energy centres help building developers meet energy-efficiency and green-building requirements, and are more cost effective than other green energy options, such as GeoExchange.
Energy centres provide customers with a higher level of comfort with less energy, compared to conventional space-heating options.
A neighbourhood energy utility system eliminates heat production equipment from individual buildings, creating more space for green roofs and reducing maintenance for building owners.