North Vancouver condo developments and new construction homes have an advantage that many communities do not: access to our award winning district energy system. In world that favors green-friendly initiatives, and a country that’s exposed to countless David Suzuki radio ads, having access to an energy alternative is a major advantage.
The Lonsdale Energy Corporation has been operating since 2003 and has been providing clean energy to residential and commercial customers by utilizing environmentally-friendly alternatives. Through a series of underground pipes and mini-plants the LEC pumps hot water to heat buildings connected to its ever-expanding network.
The community heating system uses a series of high efficiency natural gas boilers, ground source heat pumps, heat recovery and solar thermal panels to heat its large network of hot water pipes. The LEC claims to have an efficiency rating of 87% and 98% and has the ultimate goal of implementing a zero emission source of heating as soon as it becomes economically viable. The LEC is exploring many alternative heating methods, such as the potential of taking advantage of adjacent industrial sites by capturing heat waste.
Sitting atop the North Vancouver City Library are 120 solar hot water panels, paid for by Federal and Provincial grants. These panels are high efficiency collectors which harvest the energy from the sun to help heat the district energy supply.
Furthermore, the LEC utilizes Geothermal Energy by way of geo-exchange systems which use the heat naturally stored beneath the surface of the Earth. During Summer months there exists air well below the surface that is much cooler and in the Winter months, below the frost line, exists air that is much warmer than that on the surface. As such, geothermal exchange can be used to both heat and cool buildings connected to the LEC network.
This system is an early pioneer in Canada, emulating existing community heating systems which are already commonly found among many European countries. Any resident of North Vancouver can be proud to be part of a community which recognizes the importance of sustainability and the advantages of a community heating system which provides competitively priced heating and cooling solutions.
There are many advantages to taking part in this system which include cost savings as a result of the LEC being able to purchase heating fuels when prices are favorable. Customers do not have to invest in the purchase, installation and maintenance of water boilers nor dedicate the space required to house the equipment. Furthermore, the system reduces the community’s draw on electrical supply by providing a high efficient alternative to heating.
Due to the nature of a communal heating system, the LEC can take advantage of new energy initiatives as technology makes them available or economical, without individual home owners having to concern themselves with constantly upgrading household equipment. Furthermore, because plants are located underground, in a city such as North Vancouver where real estate prices are high, it leaves more room for homes and businesses without having to save land for large plants.