Gas stoves are a staple in many commercial and private kitchens but they’ve ignited concerns for some City of Victoria councillors.
“We’re in a climate emergency and we need to stop building buildings with fossil fuel power, we need to move over to clean electricity,” says Councillor Dave Thompson.
Four city councillors are asking their peers to explore the idea that new development, that require a rezoning process, are required to only include electric heating, cooling, hot water, and cooking.
The council members who signed the motion include Dave Thompson, Krista Loughton, Susan Kim, and Jeremy Caradonna.
The motion reads that natural gas in homes accounts for 40 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Victoria and installing GHG-producing systems in new buildings “will lock in decades of GHG emissions, or require far more expensive retrofits at a later date.”
Some local developments aren’t shocked at the proposal.
“With climate change matters and with emissions reduction targets and goals, there’s definitely a trend, a move towards thinking more about the source of energy itself,” says Chris Quigley, the director of development at Aryze Developments.
While it may just be becoming a trend here, similar action has already been taken south of the border. Multiple states have banned all natural gas in new buildings due to health and environmental risks.
“At Aryze we’ve definitely seen there’s been a move towards this kind of policy so we’ve started to plan for it in some of our projects,” adds Quigley.
When asked about the motion, Lansdowne Appliance Gallery along Douglas Street says it won’t affect their storefront all that much but may require the industry to slightly adjust.
“We have a mix of demographics, I mean we have people who want a gas stove no matter what you tell them, and there are some people that are more prone to induction or electric, so we don’t determine as to what the market is or what we sell, rather we serve a community with different needs,” says Tavares Kudinda with Lansdowne Appliance.
The motion is also pushing for electric heating and cooling, meaning instead of furnaces, heat pumps.
The idea was was scheduled to be discussed today, but in an unexpected move Councillor Thompson pulled back.
“I have lots to say about it but I also just became aware that the provincial government has a regulation that they’re supposed to be releasing tomorrow that may affect this, and it’s probably better to just let this ride for a week if we can,” says Thompson.
The motion is scheduled to return next week.