Burlington leading by example to reduce carbon footprint

Did you know that the City is working towards net carbon neutral operations by 2040? A pathway to achieve this Vision 2040 Strategic Plan goal is laid out in the Corporate Energy and Emissions Management Plan: 2019-2024 with progress reports presented to City Council every year. This post highlights some of the ongoing projects and initiatives City staff are working on as reported to City Council in June 2022.

City View Park Pavilion  

The new City View Park Pavilion is the City’s first net carbon neutral facility using all electric systems and no fossil fuels. The building has occupancy-based controls and a 30kW net metered solar array that will produce as much electricity as the building will use over the course of the year.

Deep Energy Retrofit Studies

In late 2021, the City was approved for funding through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Green Municipal Fund to carry out four deep energy retrofit studies at Appleby Ice Centre, Brant Hills Community Centre and Fire Stations 2 and 7. These studies will provide a road map to transition these four buildings to low or zero carbon buildings and will be the first major step to upgrading our existing buildings.  

Solar PV Planning

City staff have completed a solar PV (photovoltaic) study to assess the feasibility of installing these systems at various City sites. This study looked at shading; potential system sizing; financial calculations such as cost estimates for panel installation and upgraded electrical infrastructure, and lifetime cost savings; greenhouse gas reductions; and an initial review of the electrical infrastructure including if local grid connections are feasible. Staff are currently coordinating the solar installations with roof replacements in the budget to maximize the lifecycle of the solar array and minimize disruption to the facilities. We hope to have news on new solar installations on City facilities in the new year.

Hybrid Air Source Heat Pump Installation

The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system at the downtown transit terminal was replaced and now consists of a high efficiency gas furnace and a cold climate air source heat pump. The system was commissioned (tested to ensure that things are operating as designed) in late 2021 and we have since been enjoying significant reductions in emissions. We look forward to reporting on a whole calendar year of results later this year and promoting to residents how an air source heat pump can reduce their emissions at home.

Skyway Arena

The new Skyway Arena and Community Centre is expected to begin construction later this year. The building is designed to maximize heat recovery from the ice plant and reduce waste heat as well as use a geothermal loop to provide additional and renewable heating and cooling to the building. Compared to a standard arena design, this building is projected to produce 88 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the building is designed so that solar panels can be added in the future. Energy staff will be very involved in the construction and commissioning and will continue to work with Recreation, Community and Culture operations staff to ensure that the building functions as it was designed. 

EV Charging

Staff continue to expand the City’s publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging network. More information can be found in the July 2022 Take Action Burlington blog post.

Take Action Burlington! By collectively working to be more efficient and reduce our emissions, we can make a difference.

This post was submitted by Tom Pedlar, Corporate Energy and Emissions Coordinator, City of Burlington.

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