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Energy Conservation and Renewables

YVR is committed to improving energy efficiency and advancing renewable energy. Improving energy use not only lessens our impact on the environment, but can also reduce costs—helping us to mitigate business risks. We have seen a cumulative savings of more than $17 million in electric and gas costs since launching our energy conservation efforts in 1999. Over this time our passenger numbers and terminal area have grown substantially, but we have been able to improve energy efficiency through conservation initiatives and improved building design.

The table below shows the growth in natural gas and electrical consumption and the improvements in efficiencies per passenger. Due to improvements in data monitoring systems, we’ve updated our reporting methodology for 2017. In previous reports, we reported only on consumption from the main terminal building. This methodology has been revised to include all satellite buildings. Adjustments have been made to previously reported historical values.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Natural Gas consumption (GJ) 128,608 135,282 143,914 130,167 110,157 143,576
Electrical consumption (GWh) 97.5 96.7 99.8 102.8 103.8 107.78
Natural gas - heating efficiency per passenger (GJ/100,000 passengers) 731 753 743 641 494 595
Electrical per passenger (GWh/100,000 passengers) 0.55 0.54 0.52 0.51 0.47 0.45

In 2017, we consumed 135,140 GJ of natural gas and 101.9 GWh of electricity in the main terminal building. This equates to $1,007,183 in natural gas and $6,332,962 in electricity for a total of $7,340,145 to heat and power all buildings and activities. Costs to heat and power as a percentage of our total materials, supplies and services costs are 5.9 per cent.

Our natural gas consumption increased by 32 per cent in 2017. A significantly cold start to 2017 resulted in additional gas use in January through March. Our energy consumption also increased slightly, due partly to increased passenger volumes requiring an increase in cooling demand and to the increased use of electrical infrastructure.

Smart Lighting

YVR is committed to research and development to control light levels and reduce light pollution impacts on surrounding communities. In addition to using schedules and sensors to reduce lighting, we have shifted towards efficient LED technology over the last several years. Every year, LED lighting saves 1.3 GWh of electricity in the terminal, 77,000 kWh on Arthur Laing Bridge and 25,000 kWh for theatrical lighting of art installations.

While the existing street lights on the Arthur Laing Bridge were replaced in 2013, the remaining high mast lights required further advances in LED technology for replacement. In 2017, we installed new LED lighting and light shields on the remaining eight high mast poles on the Arthur Laing Bridge to improve lighting levels while reducing glare. With five lights being replaced on each pole, this recent upgrade was able to reduce 119,000 kWh per year.

In 2017, YVR successfully completed the largest install of an apron LED lighting system in Canada

Renewable Energy

We have focused investment on renewable energy to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, offset electrical demand and increase resiliency.

Airside Operations Building

YVR’s Airside Operations Building (AOB) consolidates all airside operations under one roof and includes a number of sustainability features such as a GeoExchange field, solar hot water, photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, a rainwater collection system and energy efficient LED lighting. The building’s renewable energy features act as a pilot for YVR to benchmark its ability to produce alternative energy sources. In 2017, the AOB consumed 2,293,294 kWh of energy and approximately 94 per cent was from renewable sources.

Solar Hot Water

YVR installed a solar panel system on the roof of the Domestic Terminal Building in 2003 and connected it to 80 per cent of the hot water distribution system. This system was so successful that we applied it to the International Terminal Building in 2014, installing 72 solar panels. These panels heat two solar hot water systems in our terminal buildings, which pre-heat more than 1,500 gallons of hot tap water every hour—resulting in an annual energy savings of 8,790 GJ of natural gas. We are seeing $90,000 in savings every year as a result of downsizing to a smaller backup boiler.


Go here for more information on YVR’s new GeoExchange system.

BC Hydro

In 2017, we worked closely with BC Hydro on a range of initiatives. We continued to participate in BC Hydro’s Energy Manager program, which dedicates an employee to manage the implementation of energy-saving projects and improve existing operational and maintenance procedures. We developed a comprehensive approach to electrical infrastructure development and a focus on the intelligent management of energy use to improve energy performance—facilitated through a BC Hydro employee at YVR.

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