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City of Vancouver, FortisBC working together to tackle climate change

November 24 2017 Deal promotes collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency while continuing to provide residents and businesses access to natural gas

“By collaborating on cleaner air, cutting greenhouse gases and increasing renewable natural gas supply, the City and FortisBC are helping the environment, economy, and people’s pocketbooks.”

FortisBC and City of Vancouver mayor signing a memorandum

FortisBC and the City of Vancouver announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to team up on climate action projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy, while maintaining access to natural gas for residents and businesses. The MOU supports the City of Vancouver in pursuing its commitment to improving air quality and reducing GHG emissions in the region by 80 per cent below 2007 levels before 2050, which aligns with B.C. and Canada’s energy and climate goals. Through this MOU, the City of Vancouver and FortisBC believe they can collectively achieve greater progress towards climate action initiatives by working together. 

“At FortisBC, we put our customers first, and we are pleased to continue providing them with affordable, natural gas in the City of Vancouver,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, executive vice president customer service and technology, FortisBC. “We understand that Vancouver residents want to shrink their environmental footprints, without impacting affordability. That’s why we’re working together to seek out new opportunities for Vancouverites to save energy, and reduce their costs.” 

“Vancouver has a plan to cut carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent before 2050 by improving energy efficiency and boosting clean renewable energy supply,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “By collaborating on cleaner air, cutting greenhouse gases and increasing renewable natural gas supply, the City and FortisBC are helping the environment, economy, and people’s pocketbooks.” 

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 

The MOU, highlights a range of activities over the next five years designed to reduce GHG emissions, including: 

  • Boosting Renewable Natural Gas supply and use in Vancouver
  • Improving air quality and reducing GHGs in transportation
  • Developing a deep energy retrofit pilot project for a commercial building 
  • Increasing investment in Low Carbon Energy Systems 
  • Increasing access to energy efficiency and conservation rebates for new buildings 
  • Improving safety and efficiency of gas furnace retrofit installations 

Changes to Green Building policies

To support the increased investment in energy-efficient buildings and Low Carbon Energy Systems, the City of Vancouver will be making several changes to its Green Building policies.

This will include alignment with the B.C. Energy Step Code, which is a new province-wide standard for energy efficient buildings. This enables FortisBC to provide incentives to make new buildings more energy efficient in the City.

In addition, the changes will create opportunities for more projects like FortisBC’s Marine Gateway low carbon energy system, which uses waste heat recovery to heat homes and hot water in an efficient, low carbon manner. 

FortisBC is an industry leader in renewable energy innovation

Together, FortisBC and the City of Vancouver are working to increase the use and supply of Renewable Natural Gas. FortisBC is an industry leader in renewable energy innovation through programs such as the Renewable Natural Gas program.

The first of its kind in North America, the program takes organic waste from landfills and farms, extracts the methane, purifies it, then pipes it back into the natural gas system. 

The City of Vancouver and FortisBC will also explore opportunities to reduce emissions and improve air quality by using natural gas as a transportation fuel source. Close to half of Metro Vancouver’s GHG emissions come from transportation, with a significant portion coming from heavy-duty vehicles.

Using natural gas as a transportation fuel has proven to be a cost-effective option that reduces GHG emissions, and virtually eliminates particulates. With vehicles fuelled by Renewable Natural Gas, GHG emissions are eradicated altogether. 

This memorandum marks a starting point for FortisBC and the City to work collaboratively on energy initiatives. 

Read the the MOU and background on the agreement