Arctic Energy Alliance, City of Yellowknife team up to make homes more energy-efficient

The Arctic Energy Alliance and the City of Yellowknife are launching a pilot project this summer to help 26 homes reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and cut their energy bills.

They’re replacing freeze-protection circulation pumps with quieter, more energy-efficient models that the city says will save residents around $150 a year.

The work will take place on 54 Avenue as part of a water line upgrade. The city was already planning to replace the circulation pumps in the homes, but the partnership allows it to install pumps that use highly efficient electronically commutated motors — or ECMs.

Every house in Yellowknife that’s on piped water has a pump that circulates flow from the city main to the house and back out so it doesn’t freeze in the winter.

A standard residential circulator pump runs at approximately 85 watts, whereas an ECM circulator pump runs at approximately eight watts, according to the city.

“This project is part of the city’s corporate and community energy action plan goals: to be more energy-smart and reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions,” wrote city spokesperson Alison Harrower in an email.

The Arctic Energy Alliance says it will provide a rebate of $175 for every ECM pump installed under the pilot project.

“Any homeowner can take advantage of our rebates, even if they aren’t getting their pumps replaced through the city,” said Arctic Energy Alliance spokesperson Kevin Cull.

“We’re hoping if [the pilot project] is successful that we can expand it in the future,” he added.

“We’ll really have to see where that goes and how this project works out.”