Fort St. John’s Commitment
Fort St. John, the Energetic City, is building a strong commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and conservation. The City has already made progress on a number of fronts. Some key initiatives to date include our Energy and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory, Corporate Energy and Emissions Study, Water System Energy Study, Biomass Conversion Opportunity Report, Sustainable Neighbourhood Design Charrette and Community Energy and Emissions Plan.
The Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) was developed as a collaborative effort by community stakeholders and was launched on March 11, 2010. As of the end of 2011, 16 of the 28 actions have been completed and many others are in progress. Some notable initiatives that have been related to the installation of renewable energy technologies such as solar panels to produce electricity, a community energy reduction challenge, a clothesline giveaway; as well as green building rebates in 2011 and 2012. Nearly 24 other initiatives have been completed or are in progress that are not directly outlined in the CEEP but are complimentary and are assisting the community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Did you know that Fort St. John is a signatory of the BC Climate Action Charter?
The Climate Action Charter is a voluntary Provincial Charter meant to identify the shared commitment that local governments have to addressing climate change. It specifically targets a reduction of emissions from city corporate operations of which monitoring and reporting are a requirement. Charter signatories have committed to become carbon neutral by 2012.
As a signatory of the Climate Action Charter, the City of Fort St. John committed to being carbon neutral in its operations . A corporate strategy was in place and the City completed energy studies of its corporate operations as well as the water and sewer infrastructure resulting in an integrated corporate carbon neutral plan. The City is also creating a decision making framework to assist with choosing projects to reduce city energy use and emissions. In addition, an inventory tool has been completed to compile, monitor and report on the City’s greenhouse gas emissions.
On a broader scale British Columbia’s Bill 27 is a legislated requirement of all communities to reduce community-wide emissions through planning. Bill 27 is meant to encourage communities to establish targets and develop policies and actions contributing to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Examples of such developments include policies defined in the Official Community Plan, Building Bylaw, and Community Energy and Emissions Plans.
Perhaps the most notable action taken by the City in the area of planning is the addition of a Solar Domestic Hot Water Development Permit Area which requires all single detached homes in the City to be built with solar domestic hot water.
Moving forward within both the Climate Action Charter and Bill 27, communities must identify and measure their existing carbon footprint. This acts as a starting point by which to establish targets and measure progress. Community Energy and Emissions Inventories (CEEI’s) have been completed by the Province for municipalities including Fort St. John to aid with this process.
A CEEI identifies:
- Where energy is used in a community
- How communities compare
- A community’s established per capita emissions
- A baseline for future comparisons over time and to assist in monitoring progress towards achieving set targets
In 2007, Fort St. John’s community-wide energy consumption and GHG emissions were 201,455 tonnes of CO2e. These emissions resulted from three major sectors: buildings, transportation and solid waste. Community-wide, we cannot continue with business-as-usual.