The Canadian Solar Cities Project board of directors is pleased to announce that The City of North Vancouver has been selected as an official Canadian Solar City by meeting each of a 10-point set of criteria established to recognize the most sustainable communities in Canada. The award was presented to His Worship, Mayor Darrell Mussatto, and council members at the March 3, 2014 City of North Vancouver council meeting.
Some of the highlights of the City of North Vancouver are:
District Energy Heating System
The Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC) is the City’s cutting edge district energy heating system. Not only does LEC currently provide heat from high efficiency natural gas boilers, but energy is supplemented with a number of green living alternative energy demonstration projects.
The LEC district energy heating system optimizes heating efficiency by circulating hot water through a network of well-insulated pipes, providing customers with dependable, clean, competitively priced energy. While currently mostly using natural gas boilers to generate the heat, the efficiency of the LEC system provides an estimated 15% gas consumption and GHG emission saving compared to stand-alone boilers typically installed in multi-unit residential buildings. LEC is expanding City-wide, and a new City Bylaw requires most new multi-family residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings to have a connection to LEC.
The City Library currently features one of the largest solar thermal panel arrays in BC, and this energy supplements heat from the natural gas boilers. Further, in collaboration with North Vancouver School District No. 44, heat pumps and a geo-exchange system for heating and cooling were integrated into the district energy system. LEC is continually exploring ways to use waste heat from buildings and industrial processes located adjacent to the district energy system, and switching to alternative and renewable fuels.
Building Energy Efficiency Policy
The City of North Vancouver is the first municipality in British Columbia to implement a strategic policy in which new zoning amendments will give new buildings a density bonus in return for energy efficient design. These zoning amendments do not increase the allowable density on a property, but will permit additional floor area over a base threshold of permitted density, up to Official Community Plan maximum densities. In order to qualify for the density bonus, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential buildings over 5 stories must meet the ASHRAE 90.1 2007 design guidelines; similarly, residential buildings four stories and under are required to meet the EnerGuide 80 standard in order to qualify. This proactive policy will allow for a legacy of building energy efficiency in the City.
The Canadian Solar Cities Project was established in the spring of 2012 and communities qualify can be recognized as Canadian Solar Cities by meeting each of the 10-point set of criteria. The list of criteria includes:
- The municipality has a climate change plan with short-term and long-term targets and time-frames in place
- The municipality has a community energy plan in place
- The municipality has an energy plan in place for its own facilities
- The municipality has adopted targets for a proportion of total community energy demand to be met by renewable energy
- The municipality has established policies and incentives for solar electricity and solar thermal utilization for residential homeowners
- The municipality has established policies and incentives for solar electricity and solar thermal utilization for commercial ratepayers
- The municipality has a communication plan in place to build awareness of its renewable energy projects and policies
- The municipality has established policies for land use planning to promote and encourage energy efficiency
- Community renewable energy, energy efficiency technologies and green living demonstration projects are developed, supported and encouraged by the city to demonstrate these concepts to the public
- The municipality has policies in place to encourage district energy projects within its jurisdiction
The Canadian Solar Cities Project requires that municipalities actually meet the ten-point set of criteria rather that simply setting the goal of meeting the criteria. Once a municipality achieves the designation of Canadian Solar City they are recognized as one of the most sustainable communities in the world.