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District Energy: Aligning with the goals of a sustainable city

In 2006, the City of Calgary (The City) laid out a vision to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent below the 2005 level by 2050. ENMAX Corporation responded to The City's targets investing in energy systems that use renewable or waste energy, such as co-generation and district energy.

"We built the Downtown District Energy Centre (DDEC) in part to align with The City's sustainability goals," said Pat Bohan, Director, District Energy and Combined Heat and Power, ENMAX. District energy allows several office buildings to share one central heating system connected through underground pipes. The DDEC currently heats several commercial and residential buildings in Calgary's downtown, including City Hall and The City-owned Alberta Trade Centre and Andrew Davison building. 

"DDEC is part of The City's GHG solution because it's more efficient and has fewer emissions than conventional heating systems. These benefits extend to our customers, of course, but Calgarians also benefit as The City of Calgary explores the viability of alternative energy and heating sources" said Pat.

The City of Calgary recently introduced policies that encourage and support the use of district energy, including commitments made in the 2012 Calgary Community GHG Reduction Plan. It also introduced a new Centre City Downtown Bylaw that provides incentives for Green Building features such as district energy and combined heat and power connectivity.

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The DDEC was recently recognized for its energy efficient design, receiving an international and prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification. "From the beginning, ENMAX planned it with an eye for a low impact design that increases energy efficiency," said Pat. "This designation affirms our efforts to build with the environment in mind."

All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).

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