Gateway Casinos & Entertainment know how to use innovative strategies to conserve energy. They also wanted to use that expertise to help a local community organization. So when Jeff Lee, Energy Manager for Gateway called last summer with an idea to share their expertise, it was the beginning of a project that would galvanize 12 community partners to help L’arche Vancouver conserve energy efficiency through retrofits.
L’Arche is a non-profit organization that provides housing and day programs for people with and without developmental disabilities. The main goal of this project was to give back to a local well-deserving business in a way that has proven to pay for itself and improve the building’s function indefinitely. There was an overwhelming response from interested participants who were eager to join in on this great cause.
The project scope included:
Upgrade lights with high efficiency fixtures
Adding occupancy sensor controls where needed
Hot water tank replacement
The entire project was completed by volunteer vendors who donated time and equipment to help L’Arche Vancouver reduce their energy consumption and refresh the building’s esthetics. For many, it was the opportunity to step away from their hectic schedules and reconnect with the community. Similar to the Neighbours Helping Neighbours program offered at L’Arche, the sense of pride and purpose formed by offering assistance to a fellow comrade makes the efforts all worthwhile. The experience was a humbling and uplifting one that they are all proud to recount.
Listed in alphabetical order, the parties involved were:
BC Hydro Power smart express Program
Cedar Rim Nursery Supply of plants
Commercial Lighting Supplying of lights and parts
Emco Supply of hot water tank
ESC Automaton Hot water tank installation
Fortis BC Efficient water heater program
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. Project lead and Donation
Luma Tech Energy Lighting audit
Mac’s II Agencies Supplying of lights and sensor
Sancor Landscaping Landscape refresh
Steele Electric Electrical installation of lights and controls
Trevor Mang Photography
Some of the ongoing benefits that L’Arche Vancouver can expect are:
• Savings in electrical cost and consumption for continued reductions in their monthly utility bills
• Longer lasting light fixtures that will save time and costs in maintenance not having to replace bulbs as often
• Brighter and more uniform lighting levels that will not fade or discolour
• Reliable longevity of a brand new high-end hot water tank to replace old unit nearing end of life
“We are grateful to be the recipients of Gateway’s generosity. L’Arche is an intentional community of people with and without developmental disabilities who share life together in homes and day programs. It is wonderful when partners in the larger community offer support in such practical ways. The lighting project has already made a big difference in our building and the landscaping has also helped brighten up our property. We are thankful to everyone who has been part of this project. “
-Denise Haskett, Community Leader/Executive Director
“As a company, we gain so much from each of the communities we operate in and we believe it is our responsibility to give back, pitch in, and provide support to our neighbours.”
-Tanya Gabara, Director, Public Relations for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment
BC Hydro has had the pleasure of being a partner with Gateway Casinos since 2003. Since then, Gateway has focused on reducing the overall carbon footprint and minimizing the electrical consumption across their facilities. The organization has managed to achieve over 3.08GWh in cumulative savings which equates to enough energy for 285 homes annually. Savings have been achieved through but limited to lighting, mechanical, controls, energy efficient kitchen equipment and improved business practices. Recently Gateway Casinos was recognized as BC Hydro’s top Power Smart Partner within the Hospitality sector along and received a profile within the Vancouver Sun. The dedication to energy efficiency and making their organization sustainable is truly commendable.
Along with reducing their own electrical consumption, Gateway is finding a way to give back to the communities that they reside in. The organization took a unique approach in donating back to the City of Burnaby this year. Normally a monetary donation is provided to a local charity, this year the energy management team found the charitable organization L’Arche through the Burnaby Board of Trade and implemented a full energy efficiency overhaul to their facility. Leveraging the great connection with contractors, distributors and consultants, Gateway facilitated the new lighting, controls and boiler system as a way to continually give back to the society. With reduced utility costs L’Arche can now spend funding on other items to help their members. Additionally L’Arche was made the sole recipient of any energy efficient incentives available as an added benefit.
– Cory Farquharson , Key Account Manager, BC Hydro
About Gateway Casinos & Entertainment and Energy Efficiency
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment has a reputation for offering high quality entertainment. At the same time, the organization is eager to improve its energy performance and become a sustainable leader in the gaming industry.
Every energy retrofit project has resulted in significant reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Most notable are the projects recently completed at Grand Villa Casino, the flagship location in Burnaby. The addition of a second cooling tower to properly service the gaming floor helped to lower the work load on the lone unit and save electricity. The innovative recapture of waste heat – which normally would be rejected into the atmosphere – gets directed back into the building to preheat the domestic hot water supply to save natural gas.
In total that is a reduction of 1035 tons of greenhouse gas emissions saved, equivalent to offsetting over 85 homes’ annual energy consumption. The positive results yielded from this project justified the financial, operational, and environmental benefits that energy efficiency can contribute to a company.