While the province supports heat pumps, there are no corresponding incentives for home and building owners to increase their own supply of renewable energy.

The delegates of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) last Sept.

A City of Vancouver resolution at the UBCM’s annual convention in Whistler said the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 and BC Hydro’s five-year electrification plan promote rebates on the purchase of electric heat pumps that encourage British Columbians to switch from using fossil fuels to hydro-electricity to heat their homes and hot water to fight climate change.

But, it added, there are no corresponding incentives for house and building owners to increase their own supply of renewable energy or to reduce the demand for hydro-electricity.

Vancouver Council. Adriane Carr said most people “know we’re facing a climate crisis.”

Because of this, he said, the movement towards renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels must be supported.

The resolution further requests that the province amend the BC Building Code, and include in the future BC Existing Buildings Alterations Code, specifications, including design and placement standards, and load-bearing requirements for solar and solar hot water systems.

Carr said that the requirements of the building code must be changed for those who choose to install solar panels and solar hot water systems.

In 2009, UBCM asked the province to provide incentives to encourage new construction that is pre-plumbed and pre-wired for future solar panels or other alternative energy installations.

In response to that, the UBCM said the province has indicated it is working to introduce regulations under the BC Building Code that “will allow local governments to adopt solar-ready requirements for single-family homes. “

The annual UBCM conference gives officials an opportunity to address issues affecting the province and its people. It ends on September 16.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

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