City of Surrey to Establish District Energy Utility to Reduce Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions



Towards Sustainability

The City of Surrey is moving forward with its plans to create district energy (DE) systems in the city in order to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and to support the goals in its Sustainability Charter and Economic Investment Action Plan.

First System Will Be In City Centre

The City will establish a municipally-owned DE utility that will be responsible for the implementation and operation of DE systems in Surrey. The first system will be built in City Centre under the new City Hall using ground source heat exchange as the primary energy supply. It will distribute energy in the form of hot water, which will allow for additional renewable energy sources to be used in the future.

“The City has done extensive research on district energy systems around the world and found that City Centre is an ideal location for this type of technology because of the new civic facilities and high density residential construction Mayor dianne watts (120p) - city of surreybeing built in the area,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “This new energy system will reduce emissions, increase energy security, stimulate local economic development, provide competitive energy pricing and increase public awareness around the sustainable use of energy.”

The City is also exploring the possibility of establishing DE systems near the Gateway and King George SkyTrain stations, as well as the Grandview Heights and Campbell Heights areas, due to the current and future plans for industrial, commercial and high density residential development in these areas.

About District Energy Systems

A DE system distributes thermal energy for heating, cooling and providing hot water to buildings using a central energy source which transfers energy between locations using underground pipes. These systems reduce the need for individual furnaces and boilers in each building and boast significant energy efficiency improvements over conventional methods of heating and cooling. In addition, waste heat from high energy users, such as ice rinks, pools and industrial customers can be recaptured and easily redistributed to other users in the system.

“A municipally-owned utility has the potential to provide a long-term source of revenue for the City as well as greater flexibility and control,” says Mayor Watts. She adds that the City will have the ability to incorporate private sector involvement in the future.

A Look Ahead

The City received funding to develop its DE plan from B.C. Hydro’s Sustainable Communities Program, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund.

It will continue to pursue additional funding from a variety of sources to support the design and construction of DE infrastructure. It will also develop a strategy to encourage new developments to incorporate heating and hot water systems that are compatible with DE.


Posted January 2011