Living up to its aims in sustainability and livability, three Penticton recipients were recognized with the FortisBC Efficiency in Action award for energy conservation.
The City of Penticton, the Skaha Hills development (a joint project by Greyback Construction and the Penticton Indian Band) and Overwaitea Foods are three of the 10 organizations across B.C. awarded. Collectively the organizations have saved enough natural gas to heat close to 150 homes and electricity to power close to 340 homes for a year.
“We want to be known for being a livable and sustainable community and that starts with identifying and investing in sound energy saving measures,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “The savings are substantial and we appreciate the acknowledgement of our efforts from FortisBC along with their ongoing support.”
The City of Penticton was recognized in the category of Public Sector, Municipal for making energy saving a priority in all of its ongoing projects and facility upgrades.
The award recognized the many energy-saving projects the city has completed, including converting street lights to LED, completing ice rink LED lighting upgrades at the South Okanagan Events Centre and Memorial Arena, and making energy-efficient upgrades at the waste water treatment plant. Collectively, these upgrades are estimated to save 1.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is the equivalent to the electricity use of 146 single-family homes or a small subdivision.
The city has an active sustainability committee which includes FortisBC so they can identify energy efficiency opportunities early on and reduce the cost of these projects by qualifying for rebates.
To improve on their already high standard for quality-built homes, Greyback Construction researched the most up-to-date building techniques for energy efficiency at the Skaha Hills project. Combined with many other features like high-efficiency windows, appliances and lighting, their homes achieve an average EnerGuide rating much higher than that of a new homes built to code. This makes Skaha Hills one of the most energy-efficient master-planned communities in Canada.
“It’s important to give people a well-built envelope; everything else you can change, but you have the building envelope for life,” said Curt Jansen of Greyback Construction. “People may be attracted to Skaha Hills for the views, but it gives them piece of mind to know these are extremely well-built homes with a low monthly cost to operate.”
Overwaitea made energy-efficient upgrades in their Penticton, Kelowna and Nelson stores. This includes energy efficient refrigeration in Penticton.
“The attention these organizations have paid to energy use in their projects is impressive — saving energy at this level requires commitment, careful planning and concrete action,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice-president, customer service and regulatory affairs, FortisBC.