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PoCo looks at hiring new energy manager

Hiring an energy manager would help the city of Port Coquitlam reduce its power consumption and achieve its greenhouse gas-reduction goal of 20% before 2017, according to a staff report.

Todd Gross, the city’s manager of parks and services, wrote that the energy savings that would come from hiring an energy manager would likely offset some of the costs of salary and benefits.

In his report to the city’s healthy community committee, Gross recommended hiring a new staff person who could help the city find ways of reducing the amount of energy consumed at municipal facilities.

“For the city to be successful in achieving its sustainability goals for reducing greenhouse gases... a number of facility-related initiatives should be implemented,” Gross wrote in his report.

The manager would work on a contract basis and Gross believes a qualified individual could be hired at an annual salary between $80,000 and $100,000. With a $50,000 grant from BC Hydro, the city’s financial commitment would be $40,000 to $50,000.

That cost, Gross writes, could be recouped through the energy savings expected to come with the hiring of a manager. According to a BC Hydro energy assessment, the city could save between $67,000 and $106,000 annually if it implemented several energy saving elements in its facilities.

Gross said using the city’s three full-time facility services staffers would be impossible given their current workloads.

“For a small operating section, the staff in this area are stretched to the limit,” he said.

An energy manager would be in charge of defining an energy management strategy and implementing a plan to help the city achieve its sustainability goals. The staff report said the position would also include tracking corporate energy consumption and costs, conducting facility energy audits, and developing a three-year business plan for energy efficiency opportunities.

The manager would also be in charge of securing additional funding through grant applications.

The healthy community committee chair, Coun. Mike Forrest, said he supports the staff recommendation. He added that he particularly liked the fact that the energy savings would help cover the cost of the initiative.

 

“It will hopefully save us some money and decrease our energy consumption,” he said. “These are the things we need to be doing.”

 

 

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