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Canadian utilities warn that rapid green shifts may make energy unaffordable.

TraderKnows
TraderKnows
05-06

Doug Slater, VP of Fortis BC, advises Greater Vancouver not to ban natural gas in new homes as it limits consumer choice and affordable energy, which could hinder climate goals.

The public utility company Fortis BC, operated by British Columbia (abbreviated as B.C.), warns against rapidly transitioning home heating from natural gas to other clean energy sources amid unaffordable energy costs.

Fortis BC's Vice President, Doug Slater, advises the Greater Vancouver area not to succumb to climate activists. Slater claims that banning natural gas in new residences will limit consumer choice, and the affordability of energy consumption could hinder climate goals. Slater urges the province to adopt a "diversified energy system approach," prioritizing energy affordability over the cleanliness and greenness of energy supplies.

Last year, legislator Adriane Carr proposed a ban on using natural gas stoves and fireplaces in new homes and apartments, aiming for "net-zero emissions" by 2050. Carr indicated that natural gas poses a health risk, especially to children and our planet.

On May 30 this year, although the Vancouver City Council rejected a proposal to ban natural gas in new residential buildings, a regulatory requirement that took effect on May 1 mandates a 20% increase in energy efficiency for all new buildings across B.C. This regulation aligns with commitments in The Clean BC Roadmap to 2030, which aims to gradually reduce emissions from buildings until all new buildings achieve zero emissions by 2030 and net-zero energy consumption by 2032.

In response to B.C.'s new building regulations, Jason Wolfe, the Director of Energy Solutions at Crown corporation, stated that Vancouver's consumers, residents, and voters should choose the approach that makes the most sense to them, whether it involves using natural gas or electricity.

Slater, citing a report from the BC Utilities Commission, claims that The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 not only supports the transition to renewable energy and low-carbon fuels but also significantly reduces carbon emissions. However, Slater still recommends that the Vancouver government expedite research into the impact of climate change on consumers.

Last year, the state of Victoria banned the use of natural gas for heating in newly developed homes. In March this year, the state parliament debated a proposal to prohibit gas stoves and natural gas heating in new development projects. Victoria currently has 93 rezoning applications involving new residential buildings near the port, standalone luxury rental apartments downtown, and other development projects.

While electricity and natural gas provide nearly the same amount of heating energy to residents, Wolfe states that the energy provided by natural gas during the winter season is twice that of the electrical system. When considering clean energy and emissions goals, the government should factor in the energy supply needed for residents' heating and living requirements.

In August last year, the state of Victoria implemented a ban on using natural gas in new homes. From 2025 onwards, Victoria will no longer allow the construction of homes that use natural gas heating. Fortis BC believes it is considering cleaner hydrogen energy, which can not only transition B.C. to a zero-emissions energy system by 2050 but also achieve the goals of The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030.

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