City's energy bill increasing annually

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Energy

Nearly every form of energy the city employs is steadily increasing, says a report provided to councillors Monday night.

A presentation by the city’s energy efficiency working group shows that from 2010 to 2011 only the use of natural shows a decline. The city spent about $355,000 on natural gas, a drop of about seven per cent from the year before, which is likely due to a warmer winter than normal.

But beyond that the city is shelling out more money, year over year for things like electricity, gasoline and water.

Electricity jumped by more than 21 per cent, and cost taxpayers $2.5 million.

Dan Drouin, a member of the energy group, told councillors the increase is likely made up of the added consumption at new city amenities like the Benson Centre and EMS headquarters.

The 18 per cent increase in gasoline costs, which totals $1.3 million, is accounted for by the increases in fuel costs, said Drouin.

Water costs jumped by about six per cent to $336,000 thanks to the inclusion of new splash pads in the city.

Coun. Bernadette Clement suggested the recommendations in the report need to be followed up by the city.

“We can’t do everything at once, but we should do a little bit every year,” she said.

The group has recommended a slew of new policies that the city consider, the most contentious of which would see water meters installed at every home in Cornwall.

Other recommendations include:

- Assign an employee with the role and duties of Energy Consumption Lead.

- Perform detailed assessments on the conditions of all City facilities.

- Investigate significant increases in energy consumption and expenses at

Cornwall Civic Complex and Aquatic Centre.

- Accelerate City street lighting LED replacement program.

- Use teleconferencing and videoconferencing whenever possible and practical.

-  Investigate feasibility of installation of alternative energy generation devices.

Accelerate and escalate the already implemented energy efficiency initiatives.

Create a separate policy which outlines equipment and device replacement

guidelines for energy efficiency.

- Turn off all unnecessary lighting in City facilities and rooms once vacated.

- Create energy efficiency incentive programs for tenants who lease City facilities.

- Provide energy consumption monitoring devices in all new City facility

constructions.

- Add personnel from Economic Development & Communications to EEWG.

- Review tendering and purchasing evaluation process to place more emphasis

on life cycle costs and energy efficiencies.

- Turn off all unnecessary City computers and monitors at end of working shift.

- Review the current billing system.

Organizations: Benson Centre, EMS

Geographic location: Cornwall

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