June 23, 2011
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York reduces ecological footprint with five per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions

Building retrofits, renewable energy and commitment to LEED making a positive impact
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent since 2006 and cut energy costs, despite rising fuel and electricity rates.
 
York Region continues to reduce its ecological footprint through a combination of energy retrofits to existing buildings, purchasing renewable energy as part of the Region’s energy supply mix and commitment to a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for all new facilities.
 
“This drop in greenhouse gas emissions demonstrates York Regional Council’s commitment as a Regional municipal government to lowering our energy consumption and reducing our ecological footprint,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “This is an investment in our environmental future, but also makes economic sense for our taxpayers.”
 
Detailed information is contained in the annual Corporate Energy Report for 2010, compiled as part of requirements under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
 
“York Region’s purchase of green energy alone is offsetting approximately 600 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, equal to taking 120 passenger vehicles off the road,” said Town of Richmond Hill Mayor David Barrow, Chair of the Region’s Finance and Administration Committee.  “Our commitment to a minimum LEED Silver standard for new buildings, plus other measures that include using solar technology, all contribute toward our environmental sustainability as a Region.”
 
The York Regional Police Central Services Building in the Town of Aurora, which opened in November 2010, is designed to LEED Silver standards to minimize energy usage.
 
Energy retrofits of the York Region Administrative Centre have produced annual savings of approximately $200,000.  Retrofits include the installation of more energy efficient fluorescent lighting and ballasts, motion sensors to turn off lights when occupants leave their work space, occupancy sensors for controlling lights in meeting rooms and washrooms, automatic sensor-operated faucets, variable-speed fans for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems, updated heating and cooling pumps and replacement heating boilers.
 
York Region is also partnered with Smart Commute to provide transportation options, programs and services to assist York Region employees in making the switch from driving alone to taking transit, cycling, walking and carpooling.
 
Media Backgrounder
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council received The Regional Municipality of York 2010 Corporate Energy Report detailing the reduction in greenhouse gases and energy costs.  The report meets the energy reporting requirements of York Region’s Sustainability and Corporate Air Quality Strategies and Ontario’s Green Energy Act. 
 
Major results contained in the 2010 Corporate Energy Report:
• Corporate electricity, natural gas consumption and per-capita energy costs have all declined slightly over the last five years
• Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions have declined by five per cent since 2006
• Energy retrofits have resulted in $1.3 million in total savings over the last five years
• Provincial and federal grants and incentives contributed another $900,000
• Application of energy supply management initiatives saved an additional $1.5 million
• York Region’s Energy and Environmental Management System (EEMS) software provides a key tool for tracking and reporting Regional energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
 
Renewable energy:
• Tendering and renewal of contract in early 2011 for electricity from low-impact green power generators in Ontario for several facilities, including the York Region Administrative Centre in the Town of Newmarket, the York Regional Police Central Services Building in the Town of Aurora and YRT/Viva transit shelters throughout York Region
• Installation of a solar air heating wall at the Mount Albert Water Pollution Control Plant
• Installation of small solar photovoltaic systems (solar panels) at Stouffville Zone 2 Pumping Station, YRT/Viva transit shelters and the new EMS Operations Centre in the Town of East Gwillimbury
 
Energy retrofits to existing buildings:
• Replacement of a rooftop chiller at York Regional Police 2 District Headquarters in the Town of Richmond Hill with a more efficient, smaller unit
• Lighting upgrades and automatic controls at seven facilities
• Improved ventilation controls at the Georgina Water Treatment Plant
• Environmental Services Department energy audits at seven facilities, plus staff training
(Note: All energy efficiency upgrades are based upon a business case, ensuring payback is less than 10 years.)
 
Minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for new facilities:
• York Region currently has 14 LEED projects with seven projects completed and seven in progress
• Three projects have been awarded LEED Gold certification to date, including the Scott Somerville Fire and EMS Station in the City of Vaughan, the McCleary Court Community Environmental Centre in the City of Vaughan and the Tom Taylor Place multi-residential apartment building in the Town of Newmarket
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Ken Turriff, Corporate Communications, York Region
   Phone:  905-830-4444, ext. 1226 or Cell: 905-251-6415
   Email:  ken.turriff@york.ca

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