The City of Richmond received recently a Public Sector Leadership Award for its district energy program from the International District Energy Association (IDEA). It’s the 12th provincial, national or international award received by Richmond for its district energy initiatives since 2013.
The award honours Richmond’s commitment and vision in advancing deployment of district energy systems in the city and reflects the growing importance of district energy as an effective and proven approach to climate mitigation.
“District energy infrastructure is an important component of our community strategy to enhance efficiency and resiliency while cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We’re proud of our achievements in using district energy to secure a sustainable and economic energy source for thousands of residents and commercial and institutional users. The many awards we’ve received for these efforts underline Richmond’s vision as an international leader in district energy development.”
Through the municipally-owned Lulu Island Energy Company, Richmond’s district energy utilities are now serving more than 3,100 residential strata units and 400,000 square feet of commercial and other non-residential buildings. The program has led to a reduction of more than 2,300 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of removing more than 710 cars from the City of Richmond roads. Future expansion plans, to be presented to Council for approval, will make Richmond the largest district energy utility operators in North America at full build out.
The Public Sector Leadership Awards were presented by Robert Thornton, IDEA President and CEO, at its recent 109th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver, before an audience of more than 800 attendees from 23 countries, six Canadian provinces, 37 US states and over 256 cities.
By utilizing district energy systems, customers can avoid the capital costs and ongoing maintenance and operation costs of on-site equipment and leverage economies of scale that a district-scale system provides. Cities such as Richmond are deploying low-carbon district energy systems using surplus heat recovery from municipal sewage, earth-coupled heat pumps and energy-sharing technologies. In addition to significantly improving energy efficiency and lowering operating costs, district energy systems increase energy security by producing or recycling thermal energy at a local level, making it more reliable, sustainable and resilient.
About the International District Energy Association
The International District Energy Association is a non-profit trade association founded in 1909 to facilitate the exchange of information among district energy professionals. IDEA is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and works actively to foster the success of members as leaders in providing reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally sound district heating, district cooling and cogeneration (also known as combined heat and power or CHP) services. Today, IDEA has over 2,200 members in over 26 nations. For more information, visit www.districtenergy.org.