Monday, September 8, 2008

Energy Sharing/Community Heating Makes Good Common Sense

At today's Township of Langley Special Council Meeting, Councillor Jordan Bateman will introduce a Notice of Motion related to energy sharing. The motion says:

"Whereas the Township of Langley has signed the Climate Action Charter, produced a Sustainability Charter, and continues to pursue ways of reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, and

Whereas the heating of homes is a significant source of Greenhouse Gas emissions, and

Whereas increasing heating costs are a growing burden on Township residents, therefore

Be it resolved that Township of Langley staff or consultants develop a report for Council investigating the feasibility and suitability of implementing geothermal district heating in new neighbourhoods, and further

Be it resolved that the Township of Langley consider the possibility of operating the heating district through either a utility or private-public partnership model, and further

Be it resolved that the Township of Langley look at possible developments in Willoughby where a district heating project could be piloted.

People in the Township have been buying up heat pumps for some time now. Heat pumps make your heating system more efficient, reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Wouldn't it make good sense to tap into the earth's heat and provide a system of shared neighbourhood heating? This is the heart of the Bateman proposal. You can read about the Clover Creek community system, the first in British Columbia! You can also find a wealth of information on heating our communities on this resource website.

Councillor Bateman has made it clear that this program would fall in line with Township guidelines that this be a user-pay initiative, so construction and operations of such a system would not be paid for by taxpayer dollars. In my private discussions with Councillor Bateman related to the 200th Street corridor and future development, I know that he has been researching energy sharing/CHP/Geothermal for some time now.

A free heat source that is already in the ground, which we can tap into. Efficient home heating at a lower cost to the consmer, while reducing greenhouse gases at the same time. User pay, but the government is helping us to reduce our heating budgets. So while our citizens gripe about the government having a hand in our pockets, why would anyone complain about this plan? Still, you can read the comments for yourself on Councillor Bateman's blog.

Once again, Europe leads the way in this field. When will we in North America get switched on? We sincerely hope that next Monday Township Council will show leadership and a progressive spirit by approving this motion. We also hope that a previous motion (put forth by Councillor Kim Richter and seconded by Councillor Bateman) move forward. That motion asked for local multi-family building developments be required to (at a minimum) provide raceways for the eventual wiring that would facilitate the charging of electric vehicles. The subject was sent t staff for further research. We do hope there will be an implementation very soon.

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