The Town of Gibsons has won the 2009 Energy & Climate Action Award in the Community Planning and Development category for development of the Upper Gibsons Neighbourhood Plan. The centerpiece of this neighbourhood plan is the new Upper Gibsons Geo-exchange District Energy Utility. The first of its kind in North America, this system, which will be owned and operated by the municipality, will provide renewable earth energy heating to all new buildings in Upper Gibsons, reducing GHG emissions from heating and hot water by an astonishing 96% (1,450 tonnes). This innovative project will result in energy cost savings of $350,000 annually and about 1/3 of that will be returned to residents as energy cost savings.
The District of Lake Country has won the award in the Corporate Operations category for the Lake Country Hydroelectric Generating Station, a low impact micro-hydro project that harnessed the power of the existing high elevation water supply system to produce clean, green energy. The municipally owned and operated hydro project, which is the first of this type to sell power back to BC Hydro, will produce approximately 3900 Megawatt-hours of emission-free, renewable electricity per year, enough to power roughly 400 homes.
Honourable Mentions were awarded to:
- City of Prince George for implementing a broad spectrum of innovative initiatives demonstrating city-wide dedication and commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.
- Corporation of Delta for its Climate Change Initiative, a comprehensive, progressive and dynamic climate action strategy.