City Hall’s new heat pump is more energy efficient, reduces GHGs, and saves taxpayer money in the process

April 24 2018

“Buildings produce over half of Vancouver’s total emissions and we need leadership at both the public and private level to reach our target of being a 100 percent renewably powered city by 2050.”

City Hall’s new air source heat pump

To address the City’s target to reduce corporate carbon emissions by 33 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, City Hall is now using a zero emissions air source heat pump to provide year-round climate control, improve energy efficiency, and improve building air quality for occupants. 

How the heat pump works

The City’s new air source heat pump works by using the same principle as a refrigerator; extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it to the inside to warm the building. It can also cool the inside environment by reversing this process.

Electrical heat pumps, like the one recently installed at City Hall, saves energy and reduces carbon pollution by using renewable electricity as an energy input and being highly efficient.

By the end of 2019, the heat pump is expected to have reduced greenhouse gases by 34 percent annually and is projected to save $20,000 each year through energy cost savings.

Becoming a renewable city

Buildings are the largest source of emissions in Vancouver, producing more than half of the city’s total emissions each year. Deep retrofits to projects like the heat pump at City Hall that bring a buildings energy and carbon performance up to the standards expected of new construction are a necessary step to achieve the City of Vancouver’s overall goals of the Renewable City Strategy and Greenest City Action Plan.

“We are committed to maintaining and upgrading all City-run facilities — especially older buildings like City Hall— so they’re clean, green, and energy-efficient,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Buildings produce over half of Vancouver’s total emissions and we need leadership at both the public and private level to reach our target of being a 100 percent renewably powered city by 2050.”

The private-sector is also showing leadership in this area, with more investment in greening operations and upgrading existing equipment. Driven by long-term financial and environmental considerations, these businesses are investing in extensive upgrades to improve building performance, save on annual energy costs, and help reduce GHG emissions. 

Learn more about Vancouver’s zero emissions goals and to read case studies for City Hall and private-sector energy retrofits.