Plante says Montreal will ban oil furnaces by 2030 Montreal Gazette Montreal to phase out oil heating in next decade CTV News View full coverage on Google News #renewableenergyathome
If you live in Montreal and have an oil furnace, you may want to start looking into replacing it.
“By 2030, the use of heating oil in Montreal will be over,” Mayor Valérie Plante declared Monday, saying the move is part of her administration’s effort to fight climate change.
The city is setting an example, she said, announcing it will spend $4 million over the next two years to replace oil systems in 18 city-owned buildings that still use the energy source。
Plante said she plans to introduce a bylaw next year that would include an immediate ban on the installation of oil furnaces in new construction.
Industrial and commercial buildings will have to phase out oil-burning heat sources by 2025。
As of 2030, residential properties will not be allowed to heat with oil。 The bylaw will apply only to buildings in the city of Montreal; it will not affect demerged suburbs。
The city does not know how many homes have oil furnaces but estimated there are several thousand. Plante said the city plans to do an inventory of such buildings over the next two years.
The city wants to work with Quebec to expand a provincial program that subsidizes homeowners who replace fossil-fuelled systems with those that use electricity or other renewable energy sources, Plante said.
Under the Chauffez Vert program, the owner of a single-family home can receive $1,275 to help offset the cost of the conversion. The cost of replacing an oil furnace varies but it can cost $5,000 or more for a typical home.
Heating oil represents 28 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by Montreal’s residential sector, and 14 per cent from the industrial and commercial sector, the city said.
The David Suzuki Foundation praised the move. “In this climate emergency, we must make every effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the short term,” said Karel Mayrand, the foundation’s Quebec director.
But Martin Messier, president of the Quebec Landlords’ Association, said his members are very concerned about the announcement. His organization met with city officials in January to discuss the initiative, but did not expect the city to announce it was going ahead without also announcing increased financial help for landlords to help them cover the costs of conversion.
“When the government, whether it’s the city, provincial or federal, imposes new measures on landlords to conform with new laws and dispositions, they completely forget that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place,”said Messier, whose organization represents 17,000 landlords, about 75 per cent of whom own properties in Montreal.
Landlords are limited as to how much they can increase the rent based on major repairs to their buildings, he notes。 The limit is based on interest rates, and is set at one per cent higher than the interest rate over the last five years。 In 2018, for example, landlords who did major repairs to their buildings could use that to justify a maximum of 2。7 per cent rent increase。
“When the rental board was established in the early 80s the interest rates were say 15, 16, 17 per cent so one per cent on top of that was a large rental increase. But with only 2.7 per cent (allowed) it’s really hard to maintain the building,” he said.
He said owners of small to mid-size buildings, under 30 units, are the ones that are most likely to still be heating with oil。 The Chauffez vert program offers owners of multiple-unit residential buildings $550 per unit to help with the cost of converting from oil to electricity, but he said that is not enough。
The worst case scenario, he said, is that landlords won’t invest in maintaining their properties, with this large cost looming on the horizon.
Many Quebecers have already converted their furnaces。
Seventy-eight per cent of homes across the province heated with electricity in 2014, up from 67 per cent in 2002。
Usage of oil dropped to four per cent, from 12 per cent in 2002.
Hydro-Québec estimates the owner of a 1,700-square-foot home with an electric furnace spends about $1,600 annually for heating and hot water, about $600 less than it would cost with an oil furnace.
Plante said by 2050, the city’s goal is to also ban the use of fossil fuels such as natural gas for heating, but it has not started working on that plan yet.
Across Quebec, about four per cent of homes heat with natural gas.
Catherine Houde, a spokesperson for Énergir, the main distributor of natural gas in Quebec, said the company expects to increasingly rely on “renewable natural gas” made using organic waste such as table scraps.
“It’s 100-per-cent renewable and carbon-neutral,” Houde said。
Today, renewable natural gas represents less than one per cent of gas distributed by Énergir, previously known as Gaz Métro.
Houde said a recent study found that by 2030, 66 per cent of the natural gas in Quebec could be renewable。
Two weeks ago, Plante announced she wants tosuch as straws, Styrofoam cups, disposable cutlery and grocery-store food packaging for meat, fish and vegetables。 A bylaw is to be tabled next year, following public consultations。
Two other environmental initiatives came into effect last year. The distribution of thin plastic bags at stores was banned, as was the burning of any solid fuel in residences unless the stove or fireplace is one of the newest, cleanest-burning models.
Michelle Lalonde of the Montreal Gazette contributed to this report.
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