Utilities announce energy saving plan

Yukon Energy and the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. have a plan to get people to use less electricity. The utilities expect demand for electricity to balloon over the coming decades, and already our hydro capacity is stretched to its limit.

Yukon Energy and the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. have a plan to get people to use less electricity.

The utilities expect demand for electricity to balloon over the coming decades, and already our hydro capacity is stretched to its limit.

Part of the solution, according to the new five-year plan, is what is known as demand side management, or encouraging people to be more efficient with their electricity use.

Without demand side management, residential electricity use is expected to increase 59 per cent and commercial electricity use is expected to increase 71 per cent by 2030.

The plan consists of a group of incentives, rebates and educational programs to encourage lower electricity usage.

Hot water and space heating each account for 19 per cent of residential electricity use.

One of the residential programs will look at the feasibility of using heat pumps as an alternate source of heating for homes.

The technology works like a refrigerator to extract heat from cool water, air or the ground.

Yukon Energy is hosting an event to highlight the potential of the technology Thursday, May 30, at noon at the Westmark in Whitehorse.

Other residential programs include offering rebates on the purchase of LED lights and timers for automotive block heaters.

The program will also educate the public on low-cost ways to decrease electricity usage.

In the commercial sector, lighting accounts for 37 per cent of electricity use, while heating, ventilation and air conditioning together account for 22 per cent.

Utilities will pay incentives to commercial customers who complete a lighting redesign study and retrofit their lighting systems towards lowering power consumption.

An incentive program will also be developed to encourage efficiency in new building construction.

As well, incentives will be offered for replacing inefficient regenerators and for purchasing energy-efficient computer equipment.

A big question mark of this electricity conservation plan is the industrial sectors.

Which new mines come onto the grid, and when, will greatly affect the demand for power in the territory.

Industrial customers are few, but each demand a large amount of power.

And because of the inherent riskiness of the mining sector, planning to meet the demands of the industry is a difficult proposition.

The five-year demand side management plan addresses the industrial sector only to say that customers will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and that efforts will be made to encourage energy efficiency at the design phase.

Currently Yukon’s base load is handled by hydro power, and diesel is burned when demand cannot be met by hydro, typically in the winter months.

Power rates are on the rise, and the government has announced its intention to do away with an electricity rebate that saves residential customers an average of about 20 per cent on their power bill.

Yukon Energy plans to replace diesel power with cheaper natural gas over the coming years.

It is also exploring hydro projects and other alternative energy sources, although no major projects are on the immediate horizon.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


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

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations


Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Most Read