City of Castlegar invites public input on renewable energy plan

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The City of Castlegar's draft West Kootenay 100% renewable energy plan is ready for public comment.

The plan proposes a list of actions around transportation, energy efficiency and diversion of organic waste as Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland, Kaslo, Warfield, Silverton, New Denver, Slocan and the Regional District of Central Kootenay collaborate to create individual pathways to make the switch to renewable energy by 2050.

Manager of Planning and Development Meeri Durand says work is already underway for the City of Castlegar and community involvement in finalizing the path forward will help identify any obstacles.

She says the city is already committed to adopting Step 1 of the BC Energy Step Code into their building bylaw by this December, with Step 2 and Step 3 expected by 2022.

This addresses efficiencies with new construction and Durand says the city’s intent is to introduce a voluntary retrofit code by 2022 to address existing construction, including incentives to existing homeowners to take steps towards energy conservation.

She adds the city is also working with the RDCK on an organics-waste composting program.

Durand believes the biggest barrier for residents will be the gradual adoption of electric vehicles and specifically the cost for replacing existing vehicles.

She says a lot of us depend on different types of vehicles like trucks, or four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive capabilities that electric vehicles don’t currently have many options for, adding she anticipates manufacturers will be shifting towards electric vehicles with time and at some point they’ll be made mandatory at a federal level.

An online public webinar is being held by the city to go over the draft plan on Tuesday, November 10th from 6PM to 7:30PM, an online survey is also accepting input until November 20th and a dedicated phone line can be reached at 778-760-3772.

Click here to pre-register for the public webinar.

Click here to read more about the draft plan.