Mr. Speaker, as our government continues to work towards achieving its goal of an environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories, I would like to highlight one of the ways that the Department of Public Works and Services is helping to ensure that we maximize investments to improve the operational performance of our existing infrastructure.
First established in 2007, the Capital Asset Retrofit Fund (CARF) Program was created to target energy efficiency investments in our public buildings. At its core, the program strives to:
• Reduce energy consumption and operational costs of government facilities;
• Improve overall comfort for building users;
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of our public buildings;
• Increase the usable life of government assets; and
• Identify new energy technologies appropriate for our northern environment.
Through the CARF Program, buildings undergo a rigorous energy audit that includes benchmarking a facility to see how its energy usage compares to other similar buildings.
Once baseline energy data is collected, Department of Public Works and Services determines which buildings will most benefit from an energy retrofit under the CARF Program. In the last four years the Department has completed over 30 retrofits ranging in size from $10,000 to over $1 million in 19 different communities, large and small. These energy retrofit projects not only reduce our energy consumption but create much needed business and employment opportunities in our small communities
Looking forward, the Department has 19 energy projects planned for 2015-2016 in various communities. This includes retrofit projects for the Health Centre in Fort Good Hope, Aurora College in Inuvik and schools in Deline, Fort McPherson and Fort Smith.
Mr. Speaker, this government’s investment in energy retrofits not only improves the performance and comfort of our public buildings but also generates net operational savings that we expect will make the CARF Program self-sufficient in future.
The first step in making the CARF Program self-sustaining was achieved in 2010-2011 by re-profiling $645,000 in ongoing operational funding from the Department managed utilities savings to capital infrastructure expenditure funding.
In addition to the savings achieved in 2010-2011, an additional $832,000 in ongoing operational savings was realized between 2012 and 2013 for a total of $1.47 million annually which has been re-directed to permanently fund the CARF Program. By the end of 2014-2015, the Department is projecting the total annual realized savings to reach $1.72 million.
The CARF is meeting program objectives by reducing our energy consumption and lowering the operational costs for government buildings and facilities. Projects include biomass boiler installations, building envelope upgrades, installation of LED lighting, and replacing building components with more energy efficient and responsive systems.
Mr. Speaker, programs like the CARF provides our government with creative ways to maximize infrastructure investments while achieving high standards for energy efficiency which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The results of our government’s continued investment in the CARF Program will be published in the Department of Public Works and Services 2014/15 Energy Conservation Projects Annual Report later this spring.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.