The Town of Banff is converting wood waste into energy with support from the Government of Canada

News release

The Town of Banff is reducing 6,000 tonnes of GHG emissions with approx. $530K in funding. A street in Banff is shown.
The Government of Canada supports emission reductions through the Low Carbon Economy

March 1, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians want cleaner air and cleaner water for their children and grandchildren. That’s why the Government of Canada’s strengthened climate plan is helping Canadians cut pollution in their communities, while saving on energy costs and creating good jobs across the country. Using cleaner fuels to power our vehicles and heat our homes is an important part of our plan to create a healthier future.

Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced an investment of approximately $530,000 from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to support a project that converts municipal waste into biomass energy in Banff, Alberta.

The Town of Banff will build a biomass district heating system that will see a cumulative reduction of about 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of this project. That is equivalent to removing approximatively 1,800 cars from the road for one year by replacing natural gas with sustainable wood waste to heat four municipal buildings. The $1.3-million biomass system reduces the need to haul waste to the landfill. The funding is also helping to increase the solar electricity capacity to the buildings.

The federal funding for this investment comes from the Partnership stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money, and create good jobs.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan is reducing emissions across the country. A key part of the plan to create a cleaner and healthier future is investing in powering our communities with clean energy.


“The Government of Canada is pleased to support innovative projects that reduce emissions and create good jobs. Today’s announcement highlights some of the important work Canadian municipalities, like Banff, are doing to lead the charge and build a cleaner, healthier future. It’s leadership and good projects like the one announced today that will help Canada exceed its 2030 Paris Agreement target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”  
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Located in Canada’s first national park, the Town of Banff strives to be a model environmental community. With support from Environment and Climate Change Canada for projects like our biomass district heating system, we are making great strides in our transition to a low-carbon economy. This effort will save costs for our taxpayers, while helping protect the local natural environment that makes Banff so special. Locally, this project will grow as private-sector companies join our sustainable district heating system. At the same time, with four million visitors a year to Banff National Park, we believe our small community’s big actions to fight climate change can inspire individuals, organizations and countries around the world.”
– Karen Sorensen, Mayor, Town of Banff

Quick facts

  • The Town of Banff biomass district heating system will use a high-tech boiler to burn wood and wood chips that currently go to landfill and transport heated water through an underground pipe network to each building’s heat exchanger to provide heating or cooling, depending on the season. The advanced combustion chambers would produce extremely clean emissions, representing less than a single campfire. The project is intended to establish a breakthrough in Banff for biomass district heating, from which the technology can spread to other parts of the community. Cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions will grow as more buildings connect to the district heating system.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund is supporting energy-efficiency projects in provinces and territories across Canada, which will help Canadians and businesses save money by lowering energy bills. Additionally, support is available for industries to put in place clean technologies that will help them be more efficient and innovative, creating jobs and savings across Canada.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund is an important part of Canada’s climate action plan, helping put Canada on a path to meet and exceed the Paris Agreement target for 2030.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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