What is the City doing to reduce corporate energy use and greenhouse gas emissions?

The City undertakes a variety of projects to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases when undertaking upgrades in its existing facilities and fleet in addition to when planning for future projects. Some of these examples are detailed below.

Pickering Heritage and Community Centre

The Pickering Heritage and Community Centre (PHCC) will be a new, 44,000 sq. ft. facility that will celebrate the City’s rich heritage by bringing together a Museum, Library and Community Centre into one dynamic space. This facility, anticipated for 2026, will be located on the upper site of the Pickering Museum Village and will:

  • Serve as a new Visitor’s Centre for the Pickering Museum Village and replace the small, aging administrative building that currently exists on the site.
  • Preserve local history and provide much-needed storage space, with special environmental and lighting controls, for collections, artifacts and records for the Library, Pickering Museum Village, and City Hall.
  • Replace the aging Greenwood Community Centre and provide a modern and accessible space for community groups, programs and services, events, and exhibition space.
  • Be Zero Carbon Building – Design certified – meaning the facility will be highly energy-efficient and will minimize greenhouse gas emissions from building materials to operations, and support Pickering’s journey of becoming one of the most sustainable cities in Canada. During typical operation, the site will be fully electric with zero fuel combustion. The design includes a 60 kW rooftop solar array with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to offset onsite electricity consumption and provide backup power for lighting and receptacle loads.

Electric Vehicles

To support and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), the City completed the installation of six EV charging ports in 2023 at the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex. This includes a 60 kW Level 3/DCFC charger, a first for Durham Region municipalities. The City also installed six Level 2 EV charging ports at the Pickering Operations Centre. The project was partially funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, which provided funding to Elexicon Group Inc. to help support the installation of EV chargers across Ontario.   

East Shore Community Centre

The City is in the design phase for replacement of two gas-fired rooftop units with dual-fuel units at the East Shore Community Centre. These hybrid heat pump/gas heating units will be able to operate in full electric mode for 50-60% of annual heating hours, with gas-fired backup for extreme cold temperatures. The heat pumps will displace a significant portion of those units’ annual natural gas consumption. Moving forward, dual-fuel rooftop units will be specified for planned equipment replacements and where justified by facility utilization rates will incorporate airside heat recovery systems wherever the existing roof structure and duct systems will permit.

Civic Complex

In 2023, the City successfully completed a comprehensive boiler retrofit project within its Civic Complex, encompassing City Hall and the Central Library. The initiative involved replacing end-of-life natural draft units with high-efficiency modulating condensing boilers, achieving a 20% increase in efficiency. This retrofit has resulted in a significant annual reduction of 52 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the ongoing improvements to the system in the current year, new design envelope heating circulators are being introduced. These enhancements are expected to optimize heat generation, delivery, and system controls, resulting in further energy savings.