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October 11, 2018

B.C. needs bold action to make homes and buildings energy efficient

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The cooler, wetter weather is sure welcome after a hot, smokey summer. Nevertheless, it ushered in a period of uncertainty. Long or short sleeves? Socks or sandals? Should we blow the dust out of the heat ducts and power up the radiator?

What if you could put off the last decision until the coldest days of winter? Low-carbon, energy-efficient homes promise to make this a reality for all. Other potential benefits of efficient apartments and houses include enhanced comfort and health as well as reduced fuel demand — saving you money on heating bills and lowering climate-damaging carbon pollution.

Reducing heating and cooling demands from buildings is a goal of the B.C. Energy Step Code (championed by the Three for All B.C. coalition) and the City of Vancouver’s Renewable City Action Plan and Zero Emissions Building Plan. These leading-edge policies focus on the construction of new buildings.

What about the existing building stock? After all, it’s estimated 70 per cent of buildings standing today will still be in use as of 2050. Unless we take action, homes and buildings constructed without regard for energy efficiency, carbon pollution, or air quality will continue to waste energy and cough up emissions until our children’s children are adults.

The good news is the benefits of healthier, less polluting homes and workplaces can be realized in both new and old buildings. There’s no time to waste: making our homes and buildings energy-efficient, healthy, safe, and affordable should be the next megaproject for B.C.

Keep reading in the HuffPost


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