What Squamish Can Learn from North Vancouver

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Feb 2, 2014

We may not be windy enough to create an alternative energy source, but there are other sources the district can explore. 

Consider City of North Vancouver. It’s teaming up with a local business in that city to create a new sustainable alternative heat source for residents.

The goal? Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build sustainable models for energy consumption.   

Lonsdale Energy Corp, North Vancouver’s neighbourhood energy utility, is working with the pet crematorium, Until We Meet Again (UWMA) to create a ‘unique and new sustainable’ alternative heat source to City residents.

The city is doing a feasibility study for the project. The new heat recovery project could be in operation for the 2015-2016 heating season.

“We believe this is the first such heat source process in North America,” says Ben Themens, Director, Lonsdale Energy Corporation.

UWMA owns and operates three industrial natural gas fired pet crematories in the City. The byproduct of that is exhaust flue gases at high temperatures.

Lonsdale Energy Corporation plans to harness that flue gas by installing a flue gas-to-hot water heat exchanger, hot water circulation pumps and pipes to recover the heat.

A heat exchanger installed at the venting chimney on the company’s main incinerator will capture the heat.  

Using that by-product for heat and hot water for local homes, the city will be showing its commitment to environmental and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Themens said.

“With the natural gas, the heat goes through the atmosphere but we want to recover that instead of wasting it,” he said.

As of now, Lonsdale Energy Corporation provides alternative energy by circulating hot water through a network of underground pipes and mini-plants to heat the buildings. It currently provides clean energy to 54 buildings covering 3,200 residential suites as well as commercial and institutional premises.

But it uses natural gas boilers to produce that heat, although the city also has solar panels and space-cooling heat pumps available and they are used in priority.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says UWMA owner, Kevin Woronchak.

As reported earlier by the Reporter, district did a feasibility study to create a Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) in 2010 for the Waterfront Landing and the Squamish Oceanfront. The project, however, wasn’t implemented.

District of Squamish has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 106 tonnes in a year, according to Caroline Ashekian, the district environmental technician.

In 2012, the district operations emitted 1179 tonnes of CO2e. In 2013, that number dropped to 1073 tonnes of CO2e.

To reduce emissions, the district has replaced or retrofitted instruments to green standards, bought more fuel-efficient vehicles, and supported energy efficient uses.

The district has also implemented a community wide curbside residential yard waste collection program, integrated GHG tracking mechanism into all RFP tenders, and replaced high bay lights with LED fixtures at Brennan Park.



  1. Jean says:

    Big deal can,t be done in Squamish…..for three years the drawings are sitting in my Desk… But Fortis rather then selling us domestic Gas and at a fair price, they are pushing to ship there Fracked Gas ( Methane highly polluting, rather polluting in our country) so China does not have to pollute there country with coal much longer. Selling LNG outside of Canada rather then promoting home use and community alternative heat and providing a service ( availability at reasonable cost) Oh well …. send the stuff to China they need it as we are buying there contraptions and have more unemployed soon and guess what the million Jobs promised here in BC, they are just about all up North, where the Mosquitoes are as big as the new Quad RC Helicopters and a nice day at work up there…when it rains … you only sink in to the mess, ito the mud up to your knees. Welcome to the most progressive and inviting Foreign workers in the world country, wealthy on resources but still selling Model T energy to anybody that still wants to buy it… not for very long, I might add ) as the Chinese have more ..2 times more natural gas right in there back yard. remember the great coal deal “Tumbler Ridge” the same thing over again ” de sha vue” and in the meantime the world around us is spending there money on R+D and provide real jobs for there youth, so we can buy it if we can afford it, one day when all the BMW and Mercedes are scrapped for hopefully soon the Tesla,s and that again bought from the Yankees ….. Oh what, we still have hockey and beer … don,t know for how long on that and wedder the welfare check will allow us to indulge in the 500 $ Hockey ticket and 10$ a bottle of brew .
    Just a thought

  2. Paul Lancaster says:

    Around 2010 our local municipality spent time, money and effort examining the value of providing a local power plant energy as part of the OCP. Its value & focus sort to build on the ideal of GHG reductions and potential opportunities for grant support from the growing gas tax fund. It seems to be a dead issue but it is one that I very much support. Perhaps the new OCP initiative will consider it further.

  3. Jean says:

    The above being a test of free speech, even so maybe a bit provocative, shows again, that the above blog entry has been withheld for several days, “awaiting the administrators approval”is not a good sign…welcome to the freedom of expression being tempered with, hopefully not a sign of dictatorship ambitions, or being obliged to keep the boss happy.