Investments in Efficiency and Alternative Energy Reduce GNWT Dependency on Fossil Fuels

June 7, 2013
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (June 7, 2013) – The GNWT is on track to reduce the use of heating fuel in its buildings by 13.5 million litres by the end of 2013/14. This decreases greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 36,000 tons since the government first started tracking its fuel and greenhouse gas reductions in 2007.

“We’ve seen energy savings of more than $3 million since 2010,” said Glen Abernethy, Minister of Public Works and Services. “That’s money that can be reinvested in alternative and renewable energy projects across the territory. A third of the total energy used in the buildings we manage is renewable, and we have more projects underway.”

In the 2012/13 fiscal year, new biomass boilers were installed in Fort Providence, Behchoko, Yellowknife, Fort Simpson and energy retrofits were completed in Aklavik, Inuvik, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Fort Providence, the Hay River Reserve, Fort Smith, Behchoko, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, and Fort Simpson.  

New buildings such as the East Three School in Inuvik and the Hay River Health Centre are designed to be energy efficient, and new GNWT buildings in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Providence and Norman Wells are currently being built with wood-pellet boilers. Four GNWT buildings in Fort Smith now receive surplus electricity from the Taltson Dam, displacing over a million litres of fuel since 2008/09. Heat-recovery systems in Yellowknife, Fort McPherson, Whati and Fort Liard use the heat produced from generating plants and electronics to keep other buildings warm.

“This is heat that would otherwise be vented outside and lost forever,” said Minister Abernethy. “By planning to be energy efficient, we can capture it and use it in other public buildings. This is the North; we need all the heat we can get.”

Strategic investments in efficient infrastructure protect the environment and have long-term financial savings that can be reinvested in future Assemblies’ priorities. The Department of Public Works and Services’ 2012/13 report on energy conservation projects is available at this link.

For more information, contact:

Brenda Norris
Media Liaison
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel:         (867) 669-2304