A green vehicles and equipment policy and a green buildings policy are being recommended for City of Powell River.
At the Tuesday, June 18, committee of the whole meeting, director of planning services Thomas Knight outlined the proposed policies, which are intended to require prioritizing low-carbon choices where economically feasible and profitable, and require evaluating low-carbon options, such as electric heat pumps and electric vehicles on a life cycle cost basis.
Knight told committee members they had seen these policies before. He said he was following up in terms of concerns some of the departments had in implementing both policies.
“As you’ll recall, under the green building policy, the issue was that we have a very clear idea of how to deal with new buildings, but how do you approach standards when it comes to existing buildings?” said Knight. “As a city, we have 28 existing buildings, so how do you apply what is being proposed in the green buildings policy? That’s been sorted out.”
He said it is applicable, because there is an initiative to move city council chambers into the old library space at city hall.
“All of a sudden, the policy will kick in, in terms of how we actually apply that,” said Knight.
The second policy is the green vehicles and equipment policy, said Knight, and the concern was the majority of vehicles and equipment are specialized.
“You just can’t go out easily and get something that is fuel efficient when it comes to fire trucks or a garbage truck,” said Knight. “That had to be addressed as well and has been addressed, so what we have before you now are two slightly modified policies that meet the concerns and criteria that were raised by the different departments. Based on that I think both of these policies are ready to be adopted.”
Councillor Rob Southcott said that since Knight mentioned fire and garbage trucks, it was discovered after procurement of garbage trucks that electric trucks are available. He said the city is now committed to diesel trucks for 10 or 20 years. When it comes to fire trucks, there is practically nothing available at this time, according to Southcott.
He said with the new green building policy, since the city has not started its liquid waste treatment plant yet, he was wondering if the policy would apply to that building.
Director of infrastructure Tor Birtig said as part of the grant funding for construction, there has been an incorporation of green policy in the building design.
Knight added that the green building policy would also apply to the new fire hall that is being proposed.
Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said these policies have been a longtime coming.
“It makes a lot of sense to where we are heading,” said Leishman. “There is nothing onerous.”
According to a report from sustainability planner Ana Lukyanova, adoption of green building and green vehicles and equipment policies are actions outlined in the city’s carbon-neutral action plan. She stated that the policies take a practical approach to greenhouse gas emissions reductions by requiring evaluation of low-carbon vehicle, equipment, building and building systems options through a life cycle costing approach. The policies highlight that while low-carbon options such as electric vehicles or heat pumps for buildings can cost higher initially, when life cycle costs are considered, these options will often result in savings to the city taxpayer.
The policies will be considered for adoption by City of Powell River Council.