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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John has introduced multiple initiatives to “go green.”

Through grant applications, these projects allowed the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs, according to a release.

One of these projects includes the upgrades to the North Peace Arena lighting, heating, ventilation, and air condition systems.

This project was funded by an over $850,000 grant from the Canada Infrastructure program to replace three make-up air units and five rooftop exhaust fans and conduct energy-efficient lighting improvements.

A grant of almost $350,000 from CleanBC and BC Hydro was used on dehumidifier modifications, heat pump and desuperheater installations and compressor power reductions at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.

The release says the upgrades allow for a more efficient ice plant and HVAC operations.

Additionally, grants and bulk purchasing with Charge North have added two new level 2 electric vehicle charging stations to the Recreation Campus.

One charging station is located at the Festival Plaza, and the other is at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.

Finally, the city purchased a new electric Olympia ice resurfacer with an ice-levelling system to ensure ice quality.

(Spencer Hall)

The city expects these projects to save 535,096 kilowatt-hours, 12,871 gigajoules, 632 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and $66,158 direct cost savings annually.

The City of Fort St. John is a signatory to the BC Climate Action Charter, a voluntary agreement between the BC Government, Union of BC Municipalities and the city to act on climate change.

Mayor Lori Ackerman says that after signing this charter years ago, the city has been making efforts to showcase energy in Fort St. John.

“As we build facilities or as we have done renovations on facilities, we have been able to take that knowledge and apply for grants and be able to move those forward,” she said.

“What that does is create energy efficiencies as well as operational deficiencies, and that helps the operating budget, et cetera. So to be able to do that is significant, I think, not only in decreasing emissions but also decreasing the operational budget of the facilities.”

According to a release, these actions include carbon neutrality in corporate operations, measuring and reporting on our greenhouse gas emissions and creating energy-efficient communities.

The city says the actions are supported by the Clean BC Local Government Climate Action Program funding provided by the BC Government for local climate projects.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.