B.C. Needs to Take Action Toward Improving Home Efficiency

Published on October 31, 2018

B.C. Needs to Take Action Toward Improving Home Efficiency

According to the Pembina Institute, British Columbia needs to reduce the amount of carbon pollution that comes from homes and buildings in order to meet the province’s climate targets.

The B.C. Energy Step Code, and the city of Vancouver’s Renewable City Action Plan and Zero Emissions Building Plan share a common goal of creating new homes to be more energy efficient.

However, new homes aren’t the only buildings needing to become more efficient if B.C. is to meet their climate goals. Pembina institute estimates that 30,000 homes, 17,000 apartment units, and 3 million square metres of commercial space needs to be retrofitted for improved efficiency every year.

Pembina Institute estimates that it will cost private and public investors over $1 billion a year, create over 10,000 sustainable jobs, as well as generate $4 to 8 billion in GDP growth to complete a retrofit strategy of this scale.

Included in this strategy are carbon pollution reduction targets that Pembina Institute believes B.C. should aim for.

“If we are to meet an economy-wide [carbon pollution] reduction of 80% by 2050, we should also set a target for B.C.’s buildings to be near-zero emissions by 2050,” said Pembina Institute.

One possible solution for efficiently and rapidly retrofitting houses is the Energiesprong model.

Originating in the Netherlands, the Energiesprong model “uses the social housing sector in each market as the launching market for these solutions,” Energiesprong says.

This means that they determine what amount of financing and regulation should be the standard for making homes more energy efficient, as well as helping to promote innovation in the energy market.

Improving Home Energy Efficiency

For residents of British Columbia who are looking to contribute to the province’s emission goals, or those who are just looking to lower their utility cost and improve their home’s comfort, we recommend contacting a local building envelope consulting firm, and having a Home Energy Assessment conducted.

Here at Barrier Sciences Group, our Registered Energy Advisors are happy to provide Home Energy Assessments andAir Tightness Tests to homeowners in Ontario. These tests provide information specific to your home, and allow our Advisors to present you with a list of possible energy saving modifications or retrofits for you to consider - ranked in order of what will be the most cost effective, while also working to lower your utility bills and improve your at-home comfort. An example of a suggested retrofit may include things as simple as sealing leaky areas with caulk, or better insulating your attic.

There are also a number of home renovation rebates that are currently available from Union Gas, which our Registered Energy Advisors are more than happy to explain as well as verify to see if your home will qualify.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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