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Gardens ‘loop’ will save energy and reduce costs

Energy recovery system provides cost saving, maximizes efficiency

Don’t confuse the city’s Greenways Loop with the new “energy recovery loop” at Strathcona Gardens.

One is for hiking and biking while the other will save taxpayers $50,000-$60,000 annually.

“This is a real good news story,” said Andy Adams, chair of the Strathcona Gardens Commission. “When you look at the quick return on investment, and take into account the impact (that) natural gas rates will see a 25 per cent decrease in rates over the next three years, energy recovery systems like these provide significant operating cost savings while maximizing our energy efficiency.”

Adams, who’s also a Campbell River city councillor, credited the Strathcona Regional District, the city, the federal government for its financial support, and one Gardens’ staffer who got the project rolling.

“Lorne Parker did a great job researching this system and submitting the application with full support from the Strathcona Gardens Commission,” said Adams, during an opening ceremony Thursday morning.

The $329,750 project received $299,750 through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The remaining money came from regional district.

The energy loop brings waste heat from the ammonia compressor room – used to make ice for the two arenas – to heat the main and leisure pools.

The energy loop is also sized so that future expansions can be connected to the current infrastructure at a significantly lower cost.

Future expansions or connections to the energy loop could include air handling units, preheating domestic water and snow melting pits for the ice cleaning machines.

The potential cost saving for the first year of heating the pools with waste heat is expected to be $50,000. These savings will significantly reduce the natural gas bill will also reduce the carbon footprint of the complex.

“Our government is committed to helping communities across the country implement local solutions to reduce their carbon footprint,” said North Island MP John Duncan. “We are proud to support innovative projects, such as this one.”


Quick Facts:

  • Strathcona Gardens is a multi-purpose facility that includes two ice arenas, swimming and leisure pools and a variety of other fitness and recreational components.

  • The federal government provides $250,697,000 in annual funding for municipal infrastructure in B.C. through the federal Gas Tax Fund.

  • Strathcona Regional District has received $3,458,765 to date from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

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