District EnergyThe City of Richmond has received international recognition for our leadership in developing district energy systems that reduce carbon emissions, while delivering affordable and reliable heating and cooling.
What is District Energy?
District energy systems centralize the production of heating or cooling for a neighbourhood. A system of pipes convey heating and/or cooling to buildings, using energy from central plants as well as integrating energy supplied from multiple sources throughout the network. District energy systems can realize a number of benefits, including:
- Low-carbon, sustainable energy – District energy can allow multiple buildings to connect to system that uses more sustainable energy solutions, such as capturing heat from the ground, water bodies (such as the Fraser River), and waste heat.
- Affordable energy – Richmond’s district energy systems can deliver energy at cost competitive rates.
- Decreased building costs – Buildings connected to a district energy system need invest less in HVAC equipment such as boilers or chillers, reducing building costs.
- Fuel Flexibility – District energy systems can switch to different fuel systems, taking advantage of future opportunities for affordable fuel and lower costs.
District Energy in Richmond
Projects in Richmond include:
- Alexandra District Energy Utility - The City of Richmond has been awarded multiple times for the innovative Alexandra District Energy Utility project. This project extracts energy from the ground, a technology called “geo-exchange”, to provide both heating and cooling. With ongoing growth in the West Cambie neighbourhood, new buildings will be connected in 2014 and more are expected in 2015.
- District Energy in City Centre - In April 2014, Council approved an agreement to establish a new district energy node in the Oval Village area of City Centre. This area has significant potential for district energy, with significant real estate development and new sources of energy. The ultimate source of energy for the area is intended to be heat recovered from the sewage system. Sewage heat recovery is an innovative technology with similar applications used today at Richmond’s Gateway Theatre and Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Energy Utility.
Lulu Island Energy Company
The Lulu Island Energy Company (LIEC) is Richmond’s solution to providing “clean, efficient energy for now and the future”. LIEC was incorporated in August 2013 as a municipal corporation to operate District Energy systems in the City of Richmond on the City’s behalf. For more information about service areas, customer rates, and other resources, please visit www.luluislandenergy.ca.