Due to the rupture of an Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline, BC is facing a shortfall of natural gas this winter.
The large majority of our health care sites rely on natural gas boiler plants for heating and hot water needs. Our large acute care sites have the option to use a backup fuel source (heating oil), if natural gas is curtailed, and this fuel source was used for a 48-hour period on October 10.
Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO) staff are in constant communication with FortisBC as we go into the winter months. We will continue to control and operate our boiler plant efficiently ensuring that space heating and hot water needs are met for patients and staff. However, there may be opportunities in some of our work areas to reduce space temperatures and the natural gas load on our boilers. The FMO team will communicate with the relevant departments if this is a possible option.
Reducing our environmental impact
The Energy and Environmental Sustainability team, part of Lower Mainland FMO, is continuously working on the goal to reduce the environmental impact of our facilities and services. Our energy use management and greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives are key programs as part of our GreenCare Strategic Framework. For further information, view our annual Environmental Performance Accountability Report.
What you can do at home
If you use natural gas at home for heating, hot water or cooking, you can conserve by turning down your thermostat, taking shorter showers, washing laundry in cold water etc. For more information on conservation opportunities and information updates, please visit the FortisBC website.
About the pipeline rupture
On October 9, 2018 an Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured near Prince George. This pipeline is used to supply the majority (~75%) of natural gas to the Lower Mainland. The remaining supply of natural gas comes from the Southern Crossing pipeline via Alberta. FortisBC delivers natural gas to our healthcare sites and homes from the Enbridge and Southern Crossing pipelines.