VANCOUVER, Sept. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Today Resource Works, with support from the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, released a study evaluating the City of Vancouver's prescriptive energy plan and raising concerns about affordability implications for residents, civic institutions and businesses.
Taken together, the Renewable City Strategy, the Zero Emissions Building Plan and the Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings (including the Bylaw) do mean a de facto ban on natural gas in pursuit of the City's 100% renewable energy target by 2050. Insufficient renewable natural gas is expected to be available to replace natural gas in the time frame under discussion.
The study raises concerns that the focus on the renewable energy target could blunt the greenhouse gas reduction benefit by disregarding other non-emitting energy sources and stifling new technology deployment.
"While the rest of the world is rushing to embrace natural gas and its positive climate attributes, the City of Vancouver is sowing confusion and moving us backward on climate," said Stewart Muir, Executive Director of Resource Works.
"Planned constraints on energy sources, without new technology or sufficient alternatives, means not only that costs will go up, but that they will be disproportionately passed along to those who in some cases can least afford them," said Muir.
Higher costs for households, civic institutions like hospitals and community centres, and businesses of all sizes seem inevitable and could result in declining affordability and competitiveness.
Ian Tostenson, President and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association stated "The City's natural gas phase-out will be very challenging for the 1,100 members of the BCRFA who operate in Vancouver. Energy costs for the average restaurant are 2% of operating revenue, or $14,000, while profits are only 4%. So if energy costs go up, that puts a number of family-owned businesses at risk."
Vancouver is a major service centre for British Columbia's robust natural gas production and processing industry in the northeast of the province. Metro Vancouver is home to related industries such as the largest manufacturing hub of fireplaces and grills in the world.
SOURCE Resource Works
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