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Yukon’s Energy conservation initiative

April 19, 2012

The Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC is publicly owned) has undertaken a major study and public consultation initiative to figure out ways to conserve energy.

While the Yukon obtains more than 80% of its electrical energy from hydro sources, its small isolated grid is quickly reaching capacity. The population is rapidly growing and a number of mines are slated to come into production.

Recent study findings, for the period to 2030, confirm the existence of significant potential for cost-effective electrical efficiency improvements in the Yukon. The study estimates that in 2030 the associated electric peak demand reductions would be approximately 8.5 to 11.9 MW in commercial buildings and 6.4 to 10.5 MW in residential dwellings.

The most significant electrical efficiency opportunities in the residential sector are associated with electric space heating measures. The biggest single measure would encourage new homes to be constructed with an energy performance rating of EGH 85. This would reduce space heating consumption in new electrically-heated houses by approximately half, relative to the current building code in Whitehorse. Electricity consumption and peak demand over the study period are expected to grow by approximately 65%, because of both the rate of new construction and the proportion of new buildings that are expected to be electrically heated. The most significant opportunities in customer-side renewable and alternative energy are from wood pellet-burning appliances.

The most significant electrical efficiency opportunities in the commercial sector are in space heating and indoor lighting. At the beginning of the study period, indoor lighting accounts for the largest fraction of savings potential.

Photovoltaic generation is not cost-effective at the beginning of the study period.


YEC deserves praise for its public consultation process for energy conservation.