Rossland lauded for energy savings

The City of Rossland received an award for 2012 Climate & Energy Action Award Honourable mention this week.

Mayor Greg Granstom (centre right) accepts an award from Patricia Dehnel

The City of Rossland received an award for 2012 Climate & Energy Action Award Honourable mention in the public service organization and local government collaboration category, for the Rossland Energy Diet, Monday.

The award was presented by Patricia Dehnel, Energy Planner with the Community Energy Association.

Dehnel said the award had been presented to Mayor Greg Granstrom, representing the City, as well as the Columbia Basin Trust and FortisBC at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, by Minister of Environment Terry Lake.

“This evening, we present it to the community,” Dehnel said.

She explained that the Community Energy Association’s mission is to build capacity and to accelerate collaboratively with local governments in B.C.

“One of the ways we do this is to recognize energy innovation in action.

The Climate and Energy Action  awards are presented annually to recognize energy innovation in action. She said the awards draw attention to the challenges of achieving energy sustainability and the creativity and tenacity of communities who overcome the challenges.

Rossland competed against 17 other submissions from communities across B.C.

“Rossland Energy Diet was selected for honourable mention  for achieving significant community-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions,” Dehnel said, adding that Rossland successfully mobilized a significant number of homeowners and local businesses around the idea of energy conservation and building retrofits, as well as building an extensive collaborative framework to achieve goals. This framework includes the City, FortisBC, Columbia Basin Trust and community organizations and businesses.

Dehnel said that while the final results aren’t in yet, since homeowners have until next March to conduct their final audit and claim grants, the results are quite convincing.

In total, 22 per cent of homes in Rossland signed up for the diet, which equates to 257 houses, and over half of them have already claimed grants. The other impressive thing was that essentially all of Rossland’s small businesses participated, with 35 total.

The actions resulted in 1,478,000 kwh of electricity and 2,200GJ of natural gas saved, which keeps an estimated 340 tonnes of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere per year.

Dehnel compared it in layman’s terms, with the amounts she pays in gas and electricity, to note a financial saving of $7,500 on gas and $118,000 in electricity.

“The Rossland Energy Diet is truly an important initiative,” she said. “We feel it could form a template for other communities across B.C. Rossland is an energy leader and provides inspiration for other local governments.