Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming accepts a plaque from Community Energy Association’s chief technology officer Peter Robinson during the Nov. 25, 2019, council meeting. (City of Vernon)

City of Vernon recognized for pedal power

Climate Energy Association honours city for forward thinking

The Community Energy Association (CEA) awarded the City of Vernon for its forward-thinking and climate leadership with a one-year complimentary membership to the association and a plaque.

The city was recognized with an honourable mention for its Climate Action Revolving Fund and its fleet of corporate e-bikes.

Vernon city council endorsed the revolving fund in September 2018 and uses monies to fund climate action projects that help lower corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions. The savings on energy costs from these projects are used to replenish the fund.

After the fund was passed, council approved the $5,000 composting pilot project — which was a huge success — and $20,000 for electric bikes for staff business use.

Six electric bikes were purchased in May 2019 and staff used them to get to and from building inspections, site visits, meetings and events, among other appointments. The bikes were used 61 times since May and a total of 440 kilometres were traversed by pedal power.

The e-bike project, CEA said, showed members of the Vernon community and city staff that travelling around the city is doable without a motorized vehicle.

“It is a novel approach to education, leadership and the social co-benefits of reducing car usage,” CEA’s chief technology officer Peter Robinson said in his comments to council on Monday, Nov. 25.

Vernon’s electric bicycle fleet project will be highlighted in Municipal World magazine next month.

With the surprise addition of complimentary membership to the CEA in 2020, the city will be recognized as a climate leader across the province, the CEA said.

“On behalf of (the) Community Energy Association and our co-sponsors, I congratulate you on your inspiring initiative and achievement.”

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