Innovative Approaches to Low-Carbon Urban Systems: A Case Study of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Energy Utility

Marc Lee

The City of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) is a low-carbon urban system that hits a sweet spot of clean energy, local control, and stable prices at competitive rates. The NEU has environmental and economic attributes that could be replicated in other cities (and it is already having an influence in other parts of Metro Vancouver). A key challenge is upfront capital costs, which could be ameliorated by senior government support and through the development of green bonds. But the NEU case also shows how a public utility model can be developed for low-carbon district energy, even in the absence of subsidies. 

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