Revelstoke ponders a Community Energy and Emissions Plan

By David F. Rooney

Intent on building on its success in the alternative energy field, the City is planning to hold an open house as a key step forward in developing a Community Energy and Emissions Plan.

The open house is to be held at the Community Centre on Thursday, October 21, from 7 until 9 pm.

“We’re convinced that an updated community energy plan is necessary to ensure that the community can achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions, improve energy efficiency and maximize the benefits from (the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation) RCEC,” Mayor David Raven said in a statement.

A 1997 community energy plan was the first to identify greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and strategies and four subsequent feasibility studies examined the potential for district energy in the community.

The result was the development of RCEC — the first municipally owned district energy corporations in BC. Today, RCEC has connected ten buildings to the district energy system based at the Downie Sawmill.

“Revelstoke is a leader in North America in using biomass as a source of district energy, and it has been for the last five years,” RCEC Chairman David Johnson said in the statement. “RCEC is looking forward to the outcomes of the Community Energy and Emissions Plan to define opportunities for RCEC to continue to supply secure, environmentally sound energy to citizens, businesses, and the City of Revelstoke.”

But it can do more. And the passage of several pieces of provincial legislation requires communities across the province to do just that. By law they must set greenhouse gas reduction targets for the entire community and integrate them into their Official Community Plans.

Consequently, the City is considering the feasibility of expanding the district energy system throughout the community. To that end it has hired a number of consultants from Compass Resource Management of Vancouver, Thinkbright Environmental Innovations of Invermere and Enerficiency Consulting of Gibsons to develop a Community Energy and Emissions Plan.

As a key step, the City is inviting interested residents to attend the October 21 open house and offer their thoughts on this issue.

You can learn more about the City’s plan at its new, website dedicated to the CEEP.