City of Penticton recognized for conservation efforts

The City of Penticton has been recognized by FortisBC for conservation efforts during the 2012 FortisBC PowerSense Conservation Excellence Awards held in October in Kelowna.

"We are pleased to be among Okanagan PowerSense Conservation Excellence Award winners," said Mayor Dan Ashton. "The City of Penticton has committed to building facilities that are more energy efficient. We have done a great deal of work, and we are grateful for the recognition of those efforts to date. Conservation requires constant diligence, and we look forward to the future savings."

The City of Penticton was named for a Conservation Excellence Award for saving 300,000 kWh through a number of different energy efficient upgrades.

FortisBC considered the City of Penticton's Advanced Waste Water Treatment Facility among those highly efficient facilities. Council considered designs for the $24 million upgrade to the City's wastewater plant, and directed staff to go as green as possible. The new plant and accompanying administration building have a number of energy efficient features, including:

  • Heat pump technology that heats the main building with effluent,
  • Three HVAC units with heat recovery,
  • High-efficiency fan motors
  • New primary tanks that capture more solids and reduce load to bio reactor which in turn uses less energy, and
  • Administration building built to LEED Silver standard.

The City also replaced 18 100-watt lights along the Skaha Lake promenade with new LED lights. The new lights are crisper and more modern, as well as being significantly more energy efficient. Old style T12 fluorescent lighting was upgraded in a number of City facilities to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts.

At the Penticton Art Gallery, a new high-efficient, natural gas boiler means lower energy bills and a more comfortable work space for employees. The gallery needs consistent humidity levels and the old boilers constantly needed repairs.

"The new boiler is 92 per cent efficient. With the rebate we received from FortisBC, it really made our investment more palatable," said Carolyn Stewart, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Penticton.

FortisBC recognized 45 individuals and organizations this year for their effort to conserve both electricity and natural gas. The PowerSense Conservation Awards are handed out annually as part of FortisBC's annual PowerSense month activities, designed to highlight FortisBC's commitment to energy efficiency and the need to reduce energy consumption.

"These are the best and brightest in the south Okanagan when it comes to energy efficiency. Each of these individuals, businesses and institutions has demonstrated a significant and tangible commitment to reducing their electricity and natural gas usage and we're pleased to recognize them for their efforts," said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service, FortisBC.