Kelowna International Airport and other city owned buildings are more energy efficient thanks to a $1.25M federal gas tax contribution.
A portion of the funds received by the city were earmarked to geothermal and radiant floor heating projects at the airport designed to lessen its overall carbon footprint.
“This facility has been in use just over a year now and we have certainly received accolades from the public as they walk through the space. I can tell you that with our design team we have used local products and energy efficiency in developing this facility,” shared Kelowna Airport Director Sam Samaddar.
“Things like the pine ceiling and the delivery of radiant floor heating through the ceramic tile. We also used geothermic massing which is used to adsorbs heat and cold which radiates back out into the space when needed,” adds Samaddar.
Gas tax funding also supported development of an energy management program that focused on larger energy consumers across the City of Kelowna.
"These upgrades, made possible thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer, will help the Kelowna International Airport save on heating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue.
"In addition, the City's new energy management program for large-energy consumers will contribute to improved corporate energy efficiency across the region."
The energy management program formalized the city's efforts to improve corporate energy efficiency by creating benchmarks and testing their energy efficiency.
"Federal gas tax funds make it possible for the City of Kelowna to follow through on our plans to build sustainable buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Mayor Walter Gray.
Gray even joked about how the government would rather we didn't rely on our cars as much, but since we do, we all get to reap the benefits.
“You use your vehicle, you pay your gas tax, and then it comes back to your community to try to convince you in other ways to not use your vehicle,” laughed Gray.
"At the Kelowna International Airport and throughout the city we use these funds to improve energy efficiency through innovative and new technologies we might not otherwise be able to afford."
The City has received more than $33M since the fund began in 2005 which the Mayor said, is critical funding the city requires to continue providing services.
“When you consider every tax dollar every Canadian pays, local government only receives eight per cent of that total, the only way we can really pay our bills and serve our citizens is if we can come up with programs where we can claw back some of the money that goes to the feds and goes to the province.”
--With files from Carmen Weld