Best Communities for Green Business
Saskatoon Light and Power is encouraging city residents and businesses to sign up for green energy. In 2011, the city’s municipally owned electric utility announced it was developing a “Green Energy Park” complete with a landfill gas collection system, wind turbines and a special system that captures pressurized energy from natural gas to showcase the city’s green electricity capabilities. And the municipal utility isn’t the only company going green.
Indeed, the government of Saskatchewan offers financial incentives to business that install or upgrade HVAC systems, natural gas boilers or geothermal systems. The incentives seem to be working. The 50-acre AeroGreen Business Park will be Saskatoon’s first high-end business park, where every building on site will be LEED qualified. Read more >
Why stop a good thing? Medicine Hat’s Hat Smart program was scheduled to end in March of this year, but the city’s incentive program for commercial properties was extended to May. The program provides $5,000 grants to businesses in Medicine Hat to upgrade their energy conservation systems or to install solar panels on their businesses. The program was first launched in 2008 and has since won numerous awards. It won an Emerald Award in 2010 and last year it won the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Community Award in the energy category.
In the middle of May, City of Penticton employees handed out water conservation kits to anyone who attended the city farmers’ market. It’s not the first time the city has done this. In fact, the Tap by Tap program was so popular the first time around that Penticton’s environmental department ordered 300 additional kits.
But water conservation kits are just the start. In December 2011, the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation opened at Penticton’s Okanagan College campus. The centre will train and educate students in a range of programs from carpentry to green building design to applied ecology, eventually producing a highly educated workforce bound for careers in green business. Read more >