North Cowichan Welcomes Electric Ice Resurfacer

North Cowichan's Fuller Lake Arena welcomed a new piece of equipment last week. The new Olympia electric ice resurfacer, nicknamed the "Ice Bear," has replaced the 12-year old propane Zamboni machine.

Ice resurfacers are a critical piece of equipment for arenas, smoothing out the ice surface to make it safer and more stable for users. Each year, the ice resurfacer at Fuller Lake Arena operates for approximately 700 hours, delivering about 2800 ice cleans.

The now-retired propane Zamboni consumed just under 5500 litres of propane per year, amounting to 8.39 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The newly purchased electric machine will complete the same amount of work without any CO2e emissions.

"Investing in machinery like this allows us to work smarter," says Don Stewart, Director of Parks and Recreation. "Working with our Environmental Coordinator, we are pursuing ways to reduce our corporate emissions simply through our purchasing decisions."

While the electric machine was $60,000 more expensive than the propane machine, with reduced annual maintenance and fuel costs, the electric machine is projected to save $40,000 over its 10-year lifespan.

This purchase was supported by a $60,000 investment from North Cowichan's Climate Action and Energy Plan reserve fund, in recognition of the emissions that the machine will save.

A detailed comparison of the propane and electric machines is provided below:

Approximate Hours of Operation Per Year700 hours
# of ice cleans per year2800
Propane use per year (average over 3 years)5449 litresNot applicable
Propane use per ice clean1.9 litresNot applicable
Emissions per year8.39 Tonnes CO2eNegligible
Emissions per ice clean0.003 Tonnes CO2eNegligible