Making a departure from the usual routine, Castlegar city council received money instead of just spending it at Monday’scouncil meeting.
Representatives from FortisBC were on hand to present the city with a rebate cheque for $24,500. The city received the moneyfor the energy efficient improvements it made to the South Sewage treatment plant. This cheque is the first half of theincentive. FortisBC will verify the actual savings over one year and present the City with a second incentive next year.
“The city of Castlegar has really demonstrated they are really forward thinking in reducing operating costs throughimprovements,” said Doug Lamminen, FortisBC energy management technical advisor.
By modernizing the venting system at the plant with variable speed drives and controls on the compressed air system, theyare now able to control and adjust venting to meet the need and avoid venting heated air, which wastes energy. The upgradewill save an estimated maximum electrical savings of 490,000 kilowatt hours per year, saving up to $38,000 per year atcurrent electricity rates.
The example Lamminen gave was that the previous system would be similar to overheating a home and then opening awindow to adjust the temperature. Technology has improved so these systems can now be replaced with more efficientequipment and better controls. In a sense they can now adjust the thermostat, instead of throwing open a window.
The sewage treatment plant is the ninth project Castlegar has completed since they started working in FortisBC in 1998. Othersignificant projects include energy efficient street lighting and the new city hall. The next project they plan to work togetheron is the second phase of the street light project.
To date, the city has reduced electricity use in their facilities by 840,000 kilowatt hours, enough to power about 65 single family homes for a year.