A greener Fernie
With council’s approval of a new Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP), the City of Fernie is working towards a greener community.
At a workshop held on December 3, 2012, City staff, the mayor, and a representative from the Official Community Plan Implementation Committee (OCPIC) met with BC Hydro. After looking at the community’s energy and emissions data they created an action plan to create a more energy efficient Fernie.
“It’s a comprehensive long term plan to improve energy efficiency and the use of greenhouse gas emissions and foster local green energy solutions,” explained Jim Hendricks, acting CAO for the City. “This initiative was brought out as a result of our commitment in the Official Community Plan (OCP).”
Fernie’s current OCP sets a goal reduction in green house gas emissions of six per cent.
All local governments throughout the province have established greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as required through the Local Government Act, Bill 27 Green Communities amendment.
Through the planning process, the actions set out in Fernie’s CEEP are focused on meeting several objectives: facilitate increased active transportation options, energy efficient development, and mixed-use neighbourhoods, reduce the cost of infrastructure expansion, identify economic development opportunities, and further develop Fernie’s ‘brand’ as a vibrant and active community.
The CEEP outlines steps to be taken from now until 2017. Some of the actions set for 2013 include educating developers on renewable energy technologies and efficiencies, active transportation planning, and long-term community engagement.
With a review of Fernie’s OCP underway, many of the policy-based actions will have the potential to be included in the new OCP immediately and implemented as the community continues to grow. The CEEP expects to allow the community of Fernie to not only meet, but exceed, the six per cent reduction target by 2020.