City finds no takers for greenhouse gas plan
Request for proposals generates no bids
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 06:00 am
Finding a consultant to help St. Albert reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to below 2008 levels is proving to be difficult for St. Albert’s environment office.
During a presentation on the new water conservation strategy at Monday’s city council meeting, environmental manager Leah Jackson revealed that a request for proposal (RFP) to help the city shape its greenhouse gas reduction plan lapsed without a suitable nibble from the private sector.
In a later interview, Jackson explained the request was only sent out at the end of June.
“It didn’t garner any interest,” Jackson said. “We had a few nibbles but it’s a very busy time of year.”
The request went out late because the environment office received a $15,000 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund in the middle of June.
Coupled with $15,000 approved in the 2011 budget, that gives the city $30,000 to try and lure a consultant to help form a strategy for reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, both at a residential and a corporate level.
Jackson said her department will send out the RFP again in the winter, when more groups are looking for work for the following year.
The city is trying to develop a strategy to reduce residential greenhouse gas emissions to six per cent below 2008 levels by 2020 and corporate – or city – emissions by 20 per cent below 2008 levels. These are targets contained within a template developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
By taking an inventory of the city’s current greenhouse gas situation in 2010 and subsequently setting a reduction target, the city has completed the first two of the federation’s five milestones. The next step is putting together a plan, for which the city wants to hire a consultant with the $30,000 it has at its disposal.
“The RFP was looking for consulting firms that could facilitate development of an action plan, and public consultation is a part of that,” Jackson said.
That would include not just residents and businesses in St. Albert, but also employees of the city who might be able to offer some input into what kind of steps the city as a corporate entity could take.
“The transit guys who work in the garage, the people who maintain facilities, we want to get their input too,” Jackson said. “If we wanted to build a brand new facility, what would it target?”
Typical plans executed in other municipalities generally involve encouraging transit and carpooling for commuters and using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Some communities even offer rebates to homeowners who replace appliances with more energy efficient models or furnaces.
Jackson said one of the most interesting action plans to date has come out of B.C., which has targeted the “basement fridge,” the old refrigerators that people keep downstairs to keep extra food or beverages cool. They are typically quite old.
“Getting rid of that beer fridge, they are an energy guzzler like you wouldn’t believe,” Jackson said.