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Climate Change: LDCSB Gets a Head Start

Catholic School Board Gets a Head Start on Climate Change Action Plan;

$9.9 Million Program: $500,000 in Annual Utility Savings and Will Take Equivalent of 1,320 Cars Off the Road

March 3, 2017

Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP)* will affect businesses and organizations across the province, including school boards. The London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB), through a partnership with energy solutions company Ameresco Canada Inc., is already well on its way to meeting Ontario’s targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and helping trim utility costs, while making schools more comfortable, brighter places to learn and work for students, teachers and staff.

The $9.9 million program, which began last Spring and will be completed in 2018, will result in:

  • $500,000 in annual utility savings
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 220 metric tonnes, which equates to taking roughly 1,320 cars off the road
  • Meeting the CCAP requirements
 
About the Program
The LDCSB and Ameresco entered a partnership in Spring 2016. Shortly afterwards, in June, the province announced its five-year Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), which will require establishing a long-term framework for action on reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) while boosting investment in green, low-carbon projects. We are not currently required to participate in cap-and-trade at current emission levels. However, all ministries, including the broader public sector, have been mandated to reduce emissions by 15% by 2020. All school boards are subject to the carbon tax.
 
With energy costs rising and the CCAP in place, the Board LDCSB is enthusiastically taking the initiative to find ways to improve system comfort and create budget savings. The partnership between LDCSB and Ameresco allows the Board to reduce utility costs while at the same time meeting the requirements of the CCAP and avoiding cap-and-trade penalties.
 
The Board-wide renewal program will replace all fluorescent lighting with LED lamps. In addition, some schools are receiving heating/cooling/ventilation system upgrades, building controls, and electrical and mechanical retrofits, including boilers and water heaters.
 
The current initiatives will reduce the Board’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (GHGs) by 10 per cent, a key step towards meeting the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s target of a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. Once fully implemented, the program will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 220 metric tonnes, which equates to taking roughly 1,320 cars off the road.
 
The renewal and energy-performance program’s goals are also in line with the Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) target set out by the Ontario Energy Board. LDCSB students will also benefit from watching their schools take a leadership role in environmental stewardship.
 
“This program is a win-win situation for the Board,” said John Jevnikar, chair of the Board of Trustees. “These upgrades bring cost savings to the Board while increasing the lifespan of our facilities, reducing our environmental footprint, and improving comfort in the teaching and learning environments in our schools.”
 
“We are extending the lifespan of our buildings and infrastructure and adopting environmentally sustainable measures that will save us money,” said Jacquie Davison, Superintendent of Business. “The Board looks forward to working with staff to find innovative ways to meet climate change targets and care for Creation and our planet for future generations.”
 
Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 
 
The London District Catholic School Board educates approximately 18,000 students at 45 elementary, nine secondary schools and the Centre for Lifelong Learning within Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin counties, including the cities of London, St. Thomas and Woodstock. For more about the Board and this initiative, visit ldcsb.ca.
 
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