Energy Conservation & Climate Change

The City of New Westminster is committed to protecting the natural environment and is playing a part in regional, national and international efforts related to both energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The City is a participant in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Partners for Climate Protection Program and is currently implementing activities identified in the Environment Strategy and Action Plan.

A summary of the City's progress in 2018 towards achieving its corporate and community greenhouse gas reduction targets as well as our carbon neutral goal under the Climate Action Charter can be found in the 2018 CARIP Climate Action Public Report.

  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate protection (PCP) program is a network of 240 Canadian municipal governments who have committed to reducing greenhouse gases and acting on climate change, of which New Westminster is an active member. 

    The PCP program is based on a five-milestone framework:

    1. Completing a greenhouse gas emission inventory
    2. Setting a local emissions reduction target
    3. Developing a plan to reach reduction target
    4. Implementing the plan
    5. Monitoring actions and results

    New Westminster committed to reduce both corporate and community GHG emissions through the PCP program.

  • The Local Government Climate Action Program (LGCAP) was created in 2022 to provide provincial funding to Local Governments and Modern Treaty Nations. The funding is to support local climate action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prepares communities for the impacts of a changing climate.

    As part of the program, local governments are required to report on their corporate greenhouse gas emissions and on actions taken at the corporate and community levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about climate action in New West see the below LGCAP reports:

    2022 New Westminster LGCAP Reporting

    2023 New Westminster LGCAP Reporting

  • In 2016, a new air quality monitoring station was added by Metro Vancouver into the busy commercial and residential  Sapperton neighbourhood to provide better representative measurements of the levels of air contaminants occurring in New Westminster. The addition of this new station follows an extensive air quality monitoring study conducted by Metro Vancouver during 2009-2010 to gain a better understanding of the air contaminant dispersion and impact of vehicle emissions on local air quality.

    The pollutants monitored at the station include ground-level ozone, nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which can be used to calculate an Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). The near real-time data collected at the New Westminster air quality monitoring station is available online at

  • CEEP - Community Energy and Emission Plan

    As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to reduce its impact on climate change, the City endorsed an updated Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP 2050) in 2022.

    This Plan provides a roadmap to approaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The complete CEEP can be reviewed here, and is organized into 5 key areas, as presented below.

    Part 1 – Defining the Challenge: includes an exploration of the climate challenge we are facing, and the particular impacts and emissions in New Westminster.

    Part 2 – CEEP Actions: is organized into five key action areas, including targets for each area, and 55 specific implementation actions. The five action areas are:

    1. Transportation – supporting sustainable transportation such as biking, eMicromobility (e-bikes, etc.), and electric vehicles;
    2. Buildings – retrofitting existing buildings and requiring new buildings to be built to high energy efficiency standards that helps reduce emissions;
    3. Energy – supporting energy conservation, district energy, and renewable energy;
    4. Waste and circular economy – reducing waste and embracing circular economy principles, which involves reusing, sharing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials for as long as possible; and
    5. Natural systems – preserving and enhancing natural areas and the urban tree canopy, and increasing the use of green infrastructure.

    The biggest opportunities for GHG reduction are in the transportation and buildings sectors. Recommended actions in these areas look to ensure we reduce energy demand first, improve efficiency, and ultimately switch fuel sources to low carbon sources. This approach will help increase the resiliency of our electricity grid and make us better prepared to withstand the effects of climate change.

    Implementation of the CEEP will need to include flexibility, to ensure the City can adapt and pivot as new action opportunities arise with policy and technological change. Ensuring actions are implemented in an equitable way will also be critical to ensuring the transition to a low-carbon community benefits everyone.

    CEEP 2050 Development

    The City conducted a variety of engagement activities from October 2021 to February 2022 to gather input on the CEEP development. Community and industry feedback and perspectives, combined with research and science, helped shape a comprehensive, updated made-in-New West plan to guide the City towards a low carbon, resilient, and equitable future. A summary of community engagement and key findings is available here

  • The millions of Canadians who drive vehicles every day can take actions to help save fuel and money, and reduce tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change and air pollution. Some actions include, avoiding jackrabbit starts, maintaining proper tire pressure, carefully planning trips by combining errands, or even walking or taking a bus instead of the car. But one of the easiest actions that motorists can take is to avoid unnecessary idling.

    Many people are unaware of these basic idling-related facts:

    1. With today's engines, the best way to warm it up is to drive it - assuming your windows are clear. Modern engines need less than 30 seconds of warm-up idling.
    2. 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine.
    3. Idling can actually damage your engine components and reduce engine life by 20%.
    4. Reducing idling by just 10 minutes a day saves of $70 per year in fuel AND reduces greenhouse gas emission by 1/4 tonne a year!

    As part of the City's commitment to protect the natural environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an anti-idling bylaw was adopted by New Westminster City Council in October 2008.

    According to the bylaw, idling for more than three minutes is prohibited on city streets. Please review the Anti-idling Bylaw for more information and the exemptions to the rule.

    Did you know?
    This anti-idling initiative is supported by both the Federal government and the Province of BC.

    Please check out their websites for more information:Natural Resources Canada

  • Corporate Energy and GHG Reduction

    In line with the second key action of the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, the City of New Westminster’s Corporate Energy and Emissions Reduction Strategy 2020 (CEERS 2020) has been developed with a 10-year horizon to help the City identify actionable strategies that would need to be implemented in order to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. CEERS 2020 builds on existing policies and makes recommendations to strengthen climate actions in all city operations. The strategy recognizes the evolving public policy environment in which the City operates, including an increased urgency for action at the international, national, provincial and local levels. The newly developed strategy aligns with Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration of 2019 and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 45% by 2030, 65% by 2040, and 100% by 2050.
    • The arena was built in 1938 and the ice surface was lit by inefficient metal halide fixtures which were replaced with LED lamps and new wiring. This project resulted in a 20% decrease in building energy consumption and rink users noted significantly better light quality and colour.

      Result: This project has saved $16,000 a year in deferred maintenance and energy costs.

    • The driveway, parking areas, and wall wash lighting at City Hall was highly inefficient and was controlled by four timers that sometimes kept lights on during the day. By installing digital lighting controls City Hall lights now turn on based on the ambient lighting levels. Replacing the metal halide and CFL lamps with LED fixtures, has reduced energy and improved both illumination levels and requires less maintenance.

      Result: This project has saved $5,300 a year in deferred maintenance and energy costs.

    • New controls and an advanced sensing cell allow for exterior and common area lighting to only operate when required. In order to better control the lighting on this property, digital lighting controls were added to the existing computer based building automation system. When added to the automation system, the energy consumed by lighting is minimized based on natural light and the particular requirements in each area of the building. Overall cost and energy savings to be determined.

    • The lights in the gym were not only inefficient, but they were being broken on a regular basis by racket sports and basketball. By sourcing LED fixtures that are manufactured to endure the rigors of ball sports, an average of $1,200 a year in maintenance costs were saved. The quality of light in the gym has improved and the new LED lamps do not contain mercury and are fully recyclable.

      Result: This project has saved $2,600 a year in deferred maintenance and energy costs.