Vancouverites Can Still Choose Natural Gas
May 03, 2017 | Stories
VICTORIA – On April 29, the BC Liberals announced they would repeal the City of Vancouver’s natural gas ‘ban’ if they were re-elected. To our knowledge, there is no such ban in Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan.
Vancouver’s building policy was developed after extensive consultations and was adopted almost a year ago. The plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions primarily by increasing the quality and efficiency of buildings. Vancouver’s plan does not eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings until 2030, after which natural gas from renewable sources such as bio-gas can still be used. Many governments, including Canada and British Columbia, have already committed to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings of the standard outlined in the BC Energy Step Code and Vancouver’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings will help B.C. and Canada meet their commitments and allow property owners to continue to use natural gas if they wish.
Passive House Canada’s CEO, Rob Bernhardt, was surprised to learn about the Liberals’ election promise: “I am puzzled by this statement as the policy was adopted last summer after extensive consultation and is in line with measures being developed in other jurisdictions. Vancouver is not the only city in British Columbia targeting zero emissions by 2050.
There is a global shift in building standards,which will reduce reliance on fossil fuels while providing consumers with more affordable and comfortable homes.”It’s worth noting that high performance buildings, which are now required by the City of Vancouver’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings, consume significantly less cooling and heating energy compared to conventional buildings. As a result, the FortisBC claim that it will cost $1,500 more per year for a family of four to use electricity may be inflated and does not take into consideration the drastically lower maintenance costs of high performance buildings. As such, the City of Vancouver is not only helping to fulfill commitments Canada made in the Paris Agreement, but it is also providing its residents with the many benefits of high quality housing and buildings. At a time where the negative impacts of climate change are a global priority, significant action and leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be welcomed.
About Passive House Canada
Passive House Canada is a national non-profit professional association advocating for the Passive House high-performance building standard and working to educate and train professionals in the building industry. The Passive House Standard is recognized internationally as the proven best way to build for comfort, affordability and energy efficiency of residential, institutional and commercial buildings, through all stages of design, construction and liveability.
For additional information:
Rob Bernhardt, CEO
Passive House Canada – Maison Passive Canada