Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pembina Institute proposes ‘low-carbon transition’ pathway for buildings in British Columbia

Recommendations published by the Pembina Institute are based on discussions during the two days forum attended by over 120 participants from 90 organizations. Experts proposed that the building sector in British Columbia should aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of buildings by 40-50% below 2007 levels by 2030, and 80-100% by 2050.
Implementation of building codes that require net-zero ready buildings by 2032 will contribute roughly a third of the emissions reductions needed, and renovation of 3% of existing building stock each year (roughly 30000 houses per year, 17000 units in apartment buildings, and 3 million m2 of commercial/institutional space) should provide the remaining emission reductions. Energy efficiency improvement should bring at least 25% of emissions reductions, and combined with fuel switching will provide 60% of emissions reductions. 
Such ambitious targets are very challenging and there are many barriers on the way to achieve them - luck of awareness, capacity and training; complexity of the retrofit process; difficulties in attracting sufficient financing and making retrofits an attractive business based on energy savings alone, etc. 
A number of strategies were discussed during the forum to address the barriers, including carbon pricing, electrification and fuel switching, enforcement of new retrofit codes, extending public financing and using innovative financing mechanisms, introduction of building energy labeling and benchmarking, valuation of non-energy benefits, project aggregation and integrated delivery. Read more at ttp://www.pembina.org