Capital could cut energy costs

A proposed energy management plan could reduce Whitehorse's energy usage and save the city money. City council is set to vote on the $1.2-million plan Monday night.

A proposed energy management plan could reduce Whitehorse’s energy usage and save the city money.

City council is set to vote on the $1.2-million plan Monday night.

It will take three to four years to make all these changes, said Shannon Clohosey, the city’s manager of environmental sustainability. Once they’re all made, the city could save $300,000 a year, she said. This means they could pay off the cost of the plan in less than four years, she said.

“After four years, all those energy savings are cash in our pocket, basically,” Clohosey said. And this money could be used for other energy-saving projects, she said.

But the city will start to see some savings right away, she said. The plan’s recommendations could see the city’s energy usage drop by 12 per cent by 2016. Water usage could be reduced by 16 per cent by the same time.

The plan recommends the city use energy-efficient lights, like LED lights, in city buildings and install toilets that use less water. It also includes tune-ups to heating and ventilation systems in some buildings.

Ottawa-based environmental management firm ICF Marbek developed the plan. The project was funded by the gas tax and Yukon Energy. Last year, they looked at energy use in 23 city buildings. This equals about 90 per cent of the city’s floor space.

Not surprisingly, newer buildings were more energy-efficient. The Public Safety Building uses less energy per square metre than any other city building, said Clohosey.

But it’s a different story where she works, in the Municipal Services Building. It’s an energy hog. The Canada Games Centre is the only city building that uses more energy, she said. The Municipal Services Building uses more energy than any water or waste-water facility in the city.

“Those facilities have huge pumps, and multiple pumps that are running, almost constantly throughout the day and night. And this building is an office building,” Clohosey said. “It shouldn’t be using that much energy.”

To save energy, the city is considering bringing services from several energy-inefficient buildings under one roof. The energy audit identified five buildings as potential targets: the Municipal Services Building, the animal shelter, the transit garage, the parks warehouse and another city warehouse. Heating this building would cost half of what the city currently spends on heating the five buildings, she said.

“We could do some Band-Aid solutions, try to squeeze a little more out of these buildings, but there’s not a lot we can do to improve those five buildings,” she said.

The city is accepting requests for proposals on the new building until the end of the month, she said.

Whitehorse is already working to make more of its buildings energy efficient. This includes using heat wasted in making ice at the Canada Games Centre to heat the building’s showers.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read