The City of Airdrie is committed to energy efficiency and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Our Council has endorsed a Climate Mitigation Strategy and we're implementing LED lighting retrofits, reducing heating setpoints during unoccupied hours and using heat recovery ventilation and higher-efficiency heating systems in our facilities. We’re also looking into installing new technology in our arenas and much more.
In 2023, the City installed a high efficiency ice system (REALice) at Ron Ebbesen Twin Arenas. The REALice system removes air bubbles found in cold water, allowing for strong, smooth ice to be produced without the use hot water. The project was largely funded by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre's Programs Fund and will result in an annual reduction of 64 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and an estimated $12,000 per year in natural gas and electricity savings.
The City has upgraded the lighting in several of its facilities to Light-emitting diodes (LED). LED lights use less electricity and produce less heat, which means the buildings don't need as much air conditioning in the summer. This upgrade has helped the City save money on electricity bills and also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced. On average, LED lights use 50 per cent less electricity and can cut electricity costs by 60 per cent.
In 2019, the City put in a new system at Ron Ebbesen Twin Arena to improve air quality and save heating energy. The ventilation system extracts energy from the exhausted air to preheat incoming fresh air. This is done by using a special system to reuse some of the air in the building. This system may be added in other buildings when they requires future upgrades.
The City of Airdrie worked with ENMAX Energy and CBI Solar to install 3,880 solar modules on the roof of Genesis Place, which was Canada's largest municipal rooftop solar PV system with a capacity of 1.55 MW when it was installed in 2019. The system reduces electricity costs of Genesis Place by more than $80,000 annually and reduces emissions by over 1,000 tonnes in the first year. A second rooftop solar installation on top of Airdrie's Transit facility was completed in late 2020, generating 410,000kwh of electricity in the first year and saving the city approximately $84,000 annually with a return on investment of approximately 12 years. The projects were funded by the provincial Green Trip grant, Municipal Climate Change Action Centre's program fund and the Federal Gas Tax fund.
The Airdrie Fire Department(AFD)'s two newest fire stations, King's Heights and Chinook Winds, were constructed as Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED®) Silver shadow projects and reduce energy usage and conserve water in the construction and operation of the buildings.