​City committed to neighbourhood energy systems

September 27 2016

Southeast False Creen Neighbourhood Energy Utility

Following the September 26, 2016, decision by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to not approve Creative Energy’s Neighbourhood Energy Agreement with the City of Vancouver, the City remains committed to establishing cost-effective neighbourhood energy systems for the residents and businesses in Northeast False Creek (NEFC) and Chinatown.

The City is disappointed with BCUC’s ruling. This system is a critical part of the City’s neighbourhood energy strategy and for ensuring that heat for this neighbourhood is generated from renewable energy sources. The creation of neighbourhood energy systems in high density neighbourhoods are key to meeting Vancouver’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets outlined in the Greenest City Action Plan and Renewable City Strategy.

Benefits of neighbourhood energy systems

Renewable neighbourhood energy systems can achieve up to 60% GHG reduction compared to conventional heating systems. They also eliminate the space and maintenance requirements associated with boilers in individual buildings, and provide cost-effective and stable rates to area residents and businesses.

Next steps

The BCUC has stated that its intent is not to prevent the City from achieving its policy objectives, and has recommended other options for the City to achieve its low-carbon goals. The City will work with Creative Energy to review the BCUC decision and determine alternative courses of action to ensure that the City’s renewable energy objectives are achieved.

The City remains interested in finding a solution that enables private sector investment in renewable energy systems. Benefits of private sector ownership of neighbourhood energy systems include:

  • Lower cost to the City of Vancouver and taxpayers
  • Facilitation of innovation and expertise in the private sector
  • Cost efficiencies
  • BCUC regulation of public utility operation, service, and rates

Learn more

The City established an agreement with Creative Energy in March 2015 for them to build, operate, and finance a neighbourhood energy system in NEFC and Chinatown.