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Working together with the City of Vancouver to tackle climate change

FortisBC and the City of Vancouver have reached a deal to continue providing residents and businesses with access to natural gas, while also promoting collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency.

By teaming up we will make greater progress towards our common climate action goals, which include reducing emissions, and increasing investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

MOU signing

Over the past 60 years, the City and FortisBC have worked collaboratively to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of energy. While we have disagreed on specific policies restricting natural gas use in recent years, our new deal addresses these differences.

Customers keep access to affordable natural gas

When the City of Vancouver launched its Zero Emissions Building Plan in 2016, FortisBC had concerns about specific policies that seemed to restrict access to natural gas for customers and businesses. Our new collaborative approach provides clarity for Vancouver residents, confirming they will continue to have the same access to natural gas as other customers in the province. It also identifies opportunities for FortisBC and the City to work together and achieve our climate action goals as part of our shared path forward.

What does this mean for you?

We understand that Vancouver residents want to shrink their environmental footprints, without impacting affordability. That’s why the City and FortisBC are working together on several opportunities to save energy and reduce long-term costs, including:

infographic showing furnace with side wall venting

Making it easier for FortisBC to deliver rebates to customers to help them use natural gas more efficiently, by aligning its initiatives with the BC Energy Step Code. This includes incentives such as upgrades for old, inefficient furnaces.  

Working together to develop a supply of Renewable Natural Gas at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta. We’re also exploring opportunities to increase the use of Renewable Natural Gas in City of Vancouver buildings, transportation fleets, and the City of Vancouver neighbourhood energy utility.

Increase supply of Renewable Natural Gas with City of Vancouver
alignment with BC Energy Step Code

Increasing the alignment of the City's building codes with the BC Energy Step Code so that it achieves equivalent emissions outcomes. By amending its building energy policies and bylaws, the City of Vancouver will add a compliance pathway to encourage investment in energy-efficient buildings.

Creating a Low Carbon Energy System Policy that supports private investment in highly efficient and low carbon building energy systems, similar to FortisBC Alternative Energy Service’s sustainable Marine Gateway district energy system. These systems use renewable energy sources such as waste heat recovery to heat homes and hot water in an efficient, sustainable manner.

Marine Gateway district energy system
low carbon vehicles using natural gas for transportation

Working together to promote reducing emissions and improving air quality with low carbon vehicles and infrastructure, potentially including increased access to the City of Vancouver’s compressed natural gas station, and opportunities to use natural gas to fuel medium- and heavy-duty transportation, rail, and marine applications.

Commitments in this memorandum of understanding may be subject to City of Vancouver or British Columbia Utilities Commission approval as appropriate.

FortisBC and City of Vancouver announce new collaboration

Our new deal maintains access to natural gas for Vancouver residents and businesses, while also promoting collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency. Read the news release.

FortisBC and City of Vancouver team up to tackle climate change

FortisBC signs agreement with City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson

Ceremonial handshake and signing of memorandum of understanding takes place at Vancouver City Hall between Mayor Gregor Robertson and Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice president customer service and technology, FortisBC.

City of Vancouver policies impact local manufacturing industry

Chad Euverman, President and Owner of Eco King Heating , tells how his natural gas boiler business will be impacted by the City of Vancouver’s policies  that restrict natural gas use. The majority of Eco King’s customers are based in Vancouver, and as a result the company could lose jobs and see their sales decrease. With today’s gas-fired space heating systems being up to 95 per cent efficient, and since natural gas is one-third the cost of electricity, these policies also mean that homeowners’ costs for heating their home and hot water will increase.

City of Vancouver policies impact development industry

Richard Cheng, Project Manager for Regent International Development , gives his perspective on how the City of Vancouver policies will impact both developers and residents. With fewer heating options available to homeowners, they will be forced to switch from natural gas to more expensive electric heating. Increased development costs will also be passed on to future Vancouver homeowners, who are already facing ongoing affordability issues.

Opinion: Energy policy must be a provincial discussion

Read BC Chamber of Commerce's view in the Vancouver Sun on how the cost of energy is among the biggest issues affecting small businesses across BC.

City of Vancouver's policies impact local fireplace industry

Paul Miles, President and Director of Sales, Miles Industries ltd. Manufacturer of Valor Gas Fireplaces, shares his views on the City of Vancouver's policies. He says they force consumers away from the locally produced natural gas fireplaces, to imported, electric fireplaces that are primarily decorative.

Vancouver's plan will hurt residents and local businesses

Read Business Council of British Columbia's blog on how City of Vancouver's Green Building Policy for Rezoning, once implemented, will exacerbate the affordability challenge for those people residing in Vancouver.

How City of Vancouver policies restrict natural gas use

As of May 1, 2017, high-rise buildings subject to rezoning applications must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 per cent. Learn more about how this policy restricts customer choice and increases the cost of their energy needs.

BC Election 2017: Liberals promise to strip Vancouver's power to restrict natural gas use

Andrew Wilkinson, Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Quilchena, said a Liberal government would change the legislation that lets the city set its own building code, called the Vancouver Charter, and remove its ability to crackdown on the use of fossil fuels like natural gas. Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun.

City of Vancouver's policies restrict natural gas

Letter to Mayor and Council to express our concern of the proposed Zero Emissions Building Plan policy report under consideration which has the potential to increase costs for energy users in the city.

Vancouver begins controversial restrictions on natural gas

Read the Globe and Mail article which discusses how all developments require a rezoning in City of Vancouver will have to comply with new standards that will restrict natural gas and could end up costing consumers three times as much as they pay now.

CKNW Energy Series: Phasing out non-renewable natural gas

Listen to CKNW's Energy Series as Janet Brown and Jon Hall speak with both Doug Smith, director of sustainability for City of Vancouver and Jason Wolfe, director of energy solutions at FortisBC.

Vancouver's vision is simply fossil foolery

Read Fabian Dawson's article in The Province on Vancouver's Renewable City Strategy claiming it to be ambitious, unrealistic and fossil foolery that will make the community unffordable to work and live in.

Vancouver’s renewable energy goals require bolder action: report

SFU’s school of Energy and Materials Research examined the City of Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy. See their study.

Vancouver's Renewable City plan may be unworkable: study

Read Business in Vancouver's article on how the City's plan to be 100% renewable by 2050 appears unrealistic.

City's 'green' bylaw will add more costs to new homes

Read Business in Vancouver's article on how City of Vancouver's new green buildings rezoning policy will drive new home prices higher.

The facts about Renewable Natural Gas for the City of Vancouver

If Renewable Natural Gas is the only natural gas allowed in Vancouver, where will it come from? Learn more about our Renewable Natural Gas program.

Energy efficiency updates to Vancouver's Building Bylaw and related additional changes

Letter to Mayor and Council regarding the updates to Vancouver's Building Bylaw being proposed for multi-family bulidings less than seven storeys, as well as the Green Policy for Rezonings.

City of Vancouver's plan to phase out non-renewable natural gas not good for local business: critics

Watch Global BC's news story featuring a local manufacturing business's response to the City of Vancouver's plan to eliminate all fossil fueled natural gas based products from new homes and buildings by 2030.

Motion to Commit to Affordable Energy in the City of Vancouver

Letter to Mayor and Council in support of the motion put forth by Councillor De Genova, which commits the City of Vancouver to affordable energy.

Updates to Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings

Letter to Mayor and Council expressing our concern of Green Building Policy for Rezonings changes implemented in a short time frame and are based upon the overarching Renewable City Strategy and Net Zero Buildings Plan.

Rezoning Applications

Letter to Mayor and Council with comments on November 15, 2016 6:00pm City of Vancouver Council public hearing.

Proposed Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings

Letter to Sean Pander, Green Building Policy Manager to voice our concern in supporting the proposed Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings to be implemented in 2017.