About the Neighbourhood District Energy Service at UBC

The Neighbourhood District Energy System (NDES)  is a district energy system providing thermal energy heating and domestic hot water to portions of the UBC residential community. It is a partnership between Corix Utilities and UBC. Corix finances, designs, builds, owns, and operates the system with oversight from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) under a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. All terms and conditions of service, rates, and fees are subject to review and approval by the BCUC.

In 2010, UBC committed to aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets for its academic campus, under its Climate Action Plan. In 2013, the University Neighbourhoods Association and UBC completed a Community Energy and Emissions Plan. This Plan identified district energy as a key component in achieving GHG emissions targets for UBC’s residential developments.

UBC named Corix Utilities as its district energy partner in 2013, from a selection of national and international district energy providers. The resulting Neighbourhood District Energy System (NDES) was developed by Corix in consultation with UBC.

The Future of the NDES at UBC

Future phases of the NDES project will require the integration of alternative renewable energy sources to meet growing demand. The project intends to serve new developments on UBC lands including:

  • Wesbrook Place (currently being served)
  • Stadium
  • East Campus
  • Acadia 
  • Potentially Block F development on UBC Endowment Lands

As more residential developments are built, demand will support a new, permanent Central Energy Plant with a target of 60% total energy from alternative and renewable sources. The waste heat recoverable from the existing cooling towers located at TRIUMF – Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, located on the south campus of UBC – has been identified as the preferred alternative energy source for the NDES.

  • TRIUMF is one of the single largest users of electricity in the Province of BC, currently consuming approximately 65 GWh of electricity per year – enough energy for 6,500 single family homes.
  • Approximately 12 MW of recoverable surplus heat from TRIUMF could be available to serve the NDES. 


Corix and District Energy

For more information regarding Corix's extensive experience with district energy projects in Canada and the US, please visit our District Energy pages.