Whistler’s Energy Performance
A Commitment to Measurement
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has been committed to measuring the community’s energy and GHG emission footprint since 2000. The current community data set has more than 10 years of performance insights, trends and detailed estimates. Additionally, since 2006 staff tracked the RMOW’s operational emissions and energy consumption for every RMOW division, department, workgroup and task in the organization.
How is Whistler Doing?
Whistler has reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions footprint by 13.5 per cent since 2007 and 2011 emission levels were 20 per cent lower than 2000. Moreover, estimated 2011 GHG emission levels have declined to 4.23 tCO2e/population equivalent (PE) from a high of 6.4 in 2003 – a reduction of more than 30 per cent.
However, total energy consumption continues to increase, with 3.2 million GJs collectively consumed across the community in 2011 – down 4.2 per cent from 2010 levels, but 3.2 per cent higher than 2009 (and the second highest level of consumption ever).
Recognizing the specific challenge of increasing our energy conservation, the community has recommended incorporating an energy reduction target (in addition to the GHG reduction target) within Whistler’s new Official Community Plan.
“The municipality will lead a community-wide effort to reduce energy consumption to levels 10% less than 2007 by 2020.” ~ Draft Whistler OCP, 2011
Where do Whistler’s community GHG emissions come from?
Whole community (including vehicles)
Residential Buildings (no vehicles) Residential Emissions & Energy Consumption
Residential GHG emissions have dropped from 2008 and 2007 levels (likely due to the shift from propane to natural gas), but are still higher than 2003-2006 levels. The primary source of emissions across the residential inventory remains natural gas consumption.
Residential energy consumption continues to rise - both on a total consumption basis (highest ever), as well as on a per-account basis. Moreover, residential electricity expenditures per account, are now the historical high.
Note, according to the BC Hydro Conservation Potential review (2005), typical consumption within the average BC household averages the following:
Commercial Buildings (no vehicles) Commercial Emissions & Energy Consumption
Total commercial emissions and emissions per commercial account are the lowest since detailed record keeping began (96 tCO2e/acct).
Is Whistler on Track to Meet its Targets?
Through council adoption in the Official Community Plan (OCP), Whistler has set the same GHG reduction targets as those adopted by the Government of BC. Compared to 2007 greenhouse gas emission levels, the community of Whistler commits to community-level GHG reductions of: 33 per cent by 2020, 80 per cent by 2050, and 90 per cent by 2060.
The good news is that collectively Whistler has been able to stay under the target curve for the first four years (2007 -2011) – a formidable accomplishment. The bad news is that without significant broad-scale energy conservation, it is unlikely that the community will be able to maintain this achievement into the future. To remain on the path toward our targets, the community needs to reduce annual emission levels by an additional 3,000 – 3,200 tonnes (tCO2e) each and every year until 2020.
For more detailed performance reporting, review the "Whistler Energy Consumption and GHG Performance Trends - 2011 Annual Report".
How Can You help Whistler Meet its Targets?
There a lot that you can do to help Whistler move towards its stated targets – and many of them will save you money! To review a list of some of the best things you can do to save energy and reduce your personal GHG emissions, click here.
- Whistler Energy Consumption and GHG Performance Trends - 2011 Annual Report
- 2003 RMOW Integrated Energy Plan