Representatives of 11 organizations ranging from the Council for Clean Capitalism to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada are calling on the federal government to implement a bold national plan for improving the energy efficiency of Canada’s buildings. The building sector, they say, offers some of the lowest cost and most easily-achievable options for greenhouse gas reduction.
The August 3, 2016 letter to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna was released publicly on August 22, 2016. In it, the groups make 14 recommendations for a national plan that would help the government meet climate change objectives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Such a plan, they say, would set the stage for deep energy retrofits of existing buildings, and all new construction to be nearly zero energy by 2030.
The recommendations include:
- updating national model building codes to achieve nearly zero energy new construction by 2030, and working with provinces to facilitate the adoption of building codes
- developing or adapting national energy codes for major renovations of existing buildings
- reforming tax policy to stimulate investment in efficiency
- incentives for deep retrofits and the removal of barriers to deep retrofits.
The organizations note that the total energy consumption of buildings accounts for nearly one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.