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False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility: in-depth

Fast facts about the utility

By City of Vancouver

 

  • 5,750,000 sq ft

    By City of Vancouver

    Floor area serviced by the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility in 2019. 22,600,000 sq.ft. Floor area expected to be serviced by the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility at full system build-out.

  • 3,500 tonnes of C02 saved

    By City of Vancouver

    The equivalent of taking 928 cars off the road in 2017.

  • False Creek Energy Centre

    By City of Vancouver

    The Energy Centre was designed to showcase the innovative use of sustainable technology. The building that houses the utility infrastructure has a certified LEED Gold rating. Its large windows allow people to look inside and see components of the utility.

  • 50,000 megawatt hours (MWh)

    By City of Vancouver

    Total energy produced by the utility in 2019.

  • 34 buildings

    By City of Vancouver

    Connected to the utility in 2019.

  • 6 km

    By City of Vancouver

    Total length of distribution system pipe in 2019.

  • 4,920 residential suites

    By City of Vancouver

    Connected to the Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility in 2019.

  • The stacks

    By City of Vancouver

    The most visible part of the building is five exhaust flues, or stacks, which resemble a hand reaching up on the east side of the Cambie Street Bridge. The ‘fingernails’ of the hand are LED light fixtures that change colour to reflect the amount of energy being produced by the utility.

The Southeast False Creek official development plan established a policy to minimize greenhouse gas pollution associated with new buildings in the area. 

After a comprehensive study on low-carbon technology options, City Council approved the development of the False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) to provide heat and hot water. In 2018, Council approved the expansion of the NEU to Mount Pleasant, Northeast False Creek, and the False Creek Flats area.

While similar neighbourhood energy systems are commonplace in Northern European countries, at the time of development only three other systems in the world recovered waste heat from untreated sewage: two in Oslo, Norway and one in Tokyo, Japan. Since this time, a number of other locations have implemented this heat source.

Awards

The City of Vancouver has won a number of awards recognizing the Neighbourhood Energy Utility, including the: