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Sep 22, 2017 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Named a Climate Leader in B.C.

by Robbin Whachell |

COQUITLAM, BC, September 22, 2017 – Coquitlam has been recognized as a climate leader in B.C. for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The joint Provincial-Union of British Columbia Municipalities Green Communities Committee (GCC) bestowed the City with its Climate Leader designation this month for demonstrating significant climate action to reduce emissions in its own operations and the community in 2016.

Coquitlam achieved level three of four in the Green Communities Climate Action Recognition Program, one of the ways the GCC supports B.C. communities in achieving their climate goals. Level three recognizes accelerated progress in reaching climate action commitments, while the top level is for those that achieve carbon neutral status.

The City joined the GCC program in 2007 by signing the Climate Action Charter. By the end of 2016, Coquitlam had cut its emissions by 24 per cent despite growth in City infrastructure and services. The reduction of more than 1,400 tonnes of greenhouse gases is about the same as taking 300 vehicles off the road for a year. The City set new targets this year to reduce emissions by a further 16 per cent by 2025.

To meet its commitments, Coquitlam has initiated real-time monitoring of building energy use and implemented technologies such as energy-sharing (Thermanex) systems, LED lighting, lighting controls, programmable thermostats, waste heat recovery systems and desktop power management software. Neighbourhoods are planned around Smart Growth principles that support reduced emissions (e.g., compact, complete and connected), and City buildings and equipments are upgraded with energy savings in mind.

Recognizing the importance of shifting behaviours, the City also works to educate both staff and citizens about saving energy. The Coquitlam Carbon Cutters staff team, established in 2010, uses innovative and fun tactics to encourage energy conservation at work, such as Ugly Sweater Day and a computer monitor shutdown challenge. In the community, about 2,000 residents have taken part in Carbon Cutters outreach activities such as workshops to make paper lanterns and draft-blocking “door snakes”, and a school program called the Forever Green Detective Agency.

In addition, the City encourages residents to reduce their carbon footprint through equipment and appliance upgrades (which can be eligible for BC Hydro and FortisBC rebates) and other actions such as:

  • Washing clothes in cold water and hanging clothes to dry;
  • Installing low-flow shower heads and faucets;
  • Running dishwashers only when full and skipping the drying cycle;
  • Lowering thermostats when not at home, and putting on a sweater rather than cranking up the heat;
  • Swapping out incandescent bulbs with fluorescent or LED options;
  • Unplugging home electronics, chargers and small appliances when not in use;
  • Heat only the rooms in use; and
  •  Setting temperatures in hot water heaters at between 55 and 60 C.

Advice about energy savings and efficiency is also provided to businesses and property developers.

For information about Coquitlam’s climate action, links to rebate programs and energy-saving advice for homes and businesses, visit www.coquitlam.ca/climateaction.

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Media contact:
Luisa Jones
Energy Manager, Environmental Services Division
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3582
ljones@coquitlam.ca

 

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