BC Hydro’s Clean Energy Champions program is officially being launched today to recognize residents, businesses, municipalities, Indigenous and community groups across B.C. that have made the choice to switch from using fossil fuels to using clean electricity in three primary areas: homes and buildings, transportation, and industry. The City of Vancouver is being recognized as the first champion for demonstrating its commitment to using clean energy to fight climate change at its landmark Bloedel Conservatory.
Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver installed a large air source heat pump at Bloedel Conservatory – more than 50 times the size of a heat pump used in a typical B.C. home – that uses electricity instead of natural gas to heat and cool the dome's interior, which is home to more than 500 exotic plants and flowers, and 100 exotic birds. It is the biggest heat pump the City of Vancouver has ever installed, with 210 tonnes of cooling capacity.
A heat pump that provides cooling in the summer and heating in the winter is ideal for the conservatory, as its dome is completely made of glass, which can be challenging for temperature regulation. While the dome experiences a lot of heat loss in the colder months, its need for cooling in warmer weather is even greater to ensure the safety of the wildlife and plants that call it home.
The clean energy upgrades do not end there though. All lighting in the building has been upgraded to energy-efficient LEDs, and outside colour-changing LEDs now surround the perimeter and light up the dome at night.
BC Hydro is calling for nominations from B.C. residents, businesses, municipalities or Indigenous and community groups that have taken steps to lower their carbon footprint and adopt new clean energy technologies. If you or someone you know is a Clean Energy Champion, nominate them at bchydro.com/cleanenergychampions.