Whistler 2020 Development Corp. News Release
The Whistler 2020 Development Corp. (WDC) has announced that it will take a number of steps in the coming months to help residents in Cheakamus Crossing improve operations and address concerns with home district energy systems. The announcement was made during a presentation to Council on October 18 by WDC Chair and President Eric Martin.
WDC will pay for a one-time inspection and repair of nine items associated with individual home district energy systems, which have been identified through a thorough analysis of ongoing issues. It will also reimburse 50 per cent of costs for incremental repairs for up to $1000 per unit. Only costs associated with this program will be eligible. WDC has also established bulk pricing rates for annual maintenance which homeowners can take advantage of.
“We are pleased WDC is supporting home owners with their heating units and working to improve their operations,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden following the announcement. “We appreciate that this matter has been challenging for many residents and we are looking forward to seeing improvements that work both for the neighbourhood and the community at large.”
The municipally-managed neighbourhood district energy system (DES) extracts heat from treated wastewater at the municipal waste water treatment plant to provide space and water heat to buildings in Cheakamus Crossing. Heat exchanger units and other equipment (home district energy systems) are required to operate building heating systems. Some of these systems have had issues while others have operated smoothly and efficiently.
“I would like to thank the Cheakamus Crossing DES Volunteer Committee for their contributions to the review of this matter and the identification of solutions,” said Eric Martin, president of WDC. “The committee’s time, efforts and local knowledge has been critical in the ongoing discussions and review of home DES systems to help residents identify and address concerns and move forward with this program. I hope everyone participates.”
Homeowners of all WDC constructed units within The Rise, The Heights, The Terrace, Whitewater and Riverbend are eligible to participate in the program. An overview of the Home District Energy System Repair and Maintenance Program is available here. Applications and full program information will be available at www.cheakamuscrossing.ca/ residents on Monday, October 24, 2016.
Review of home district energy systems
WDC, the developer of the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) have monitored and reviewed home DES concerns for some time:
- In early 2016, the RMOW compiled and delivered a Homeowner Quick Reference Guide and a Technical Service Guide to help homeowners properly maintain their home district energy systems.
- In spring 2016, working with the neighbourhood through the Cheakamus Crossing District Energy System Volunteer Committee, WDC retained an independent expert, Integral Group, to review the operations of 20 home owners’ heating systems and better understand their experiences, which have been published in a Forensic Audit Report. While the report found no systematic failure with the system, it did identify some deficiencies in individual home heating units and a platform for further review.
- In September 2016, nine units were closely inspected using a list of specific items that were identified in the earlier forensic report. This data was used to estimate the cost to make certain repairs, where required, in the WDC constructed homes noted above.
The District Energy System (DES) was established in Cheakamus Crossing when the neighbourhood was built for the 2010 Winter Games as the Whistler Athletes’ Village. A heat pump utilizing the Cheakamus Crossing DES was incorporated into buildings and homes.
Today, 90 per cent of the homes in the neighbourhood are restricted to the Whistler workforce through the Whistler Housing Authority.
The RMOW operates and maintains the DES plant located at the Whistler Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as piping in public areas. Strata properties are responsible for the piping on common property, and individual homeowners are responsible for all home heating equipment within their homes.
The District Energy System substantially decreases the electrical and natural gas requirements in the community.
Program applications will be available Monday, October 24, 2016 at www.cheakamuscrossing.ca/residents and all residents are encouraged to participate.
About the Whistler 2020 Development Corp.
The RMOW created the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation, incorporated as a business under the Business Corporations Act (BC), to facilitate the delivery of the Whistler Athlete Village for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. RMOW is the sole shareholder of the Corporation, however it is a separate entity with no political connection to the local government.
The Whistler 2020 Development Corporation Board of Directors included elected members and staff of the RMOW, Whistler community representatives, and was chaired by two volunteer development professionals.
Guided by the principles adopted by RMOW Council, the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation responsibilities have included developing the Legacy Neighbourhood master plan, developing the business plan and monitoring construction and development on the property.