Mayor Gregor Robertson led the charge on the Renewable City Strategy which passed this summer. He is a vocal critic of oil and gas development and was a director Tides Canada from 2002 until 2004.
“The average family using natural gas to heat their home today will pay $1,400 more per year under Robertson’s ban – plus thousands in conversion costs to move from natural gas to electricity,” said Jordan Bateman, the CTF’s BC Director. “It’s far too heavy a financial burden for people already struggling under Vancouver’s high cost of living.”
Today, 56 per cent of all energy used by homes in Vancouver comes from natural gas, mainly to heat rooms and water. FortisBC has more than 108,000 customers in Vancouver – all of whom will have to convert to more expensive energy options if the ban is upheld.
Robertson wants a 70 per cent cut in natural gas use by 2020, and 90 per cent gone within ten years. All natural gas use in Vancouver will be banned by 2050 at the latest.
“Forget banning natural gas – we should ban ludicrously expensive ideas at Gregor Robertson’s city hall,” said Bateman. “Even if you don’t use natural gas, your taxes will go up to cover more costs for hospitals, schools, and transit. You’ll also have to pay more at shops, services and restaurants to cover their higher energy bills.”
In Vancouver commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, 37 per cent of energy comes from natural gas. The CTF estimates that: forcing more than 100 schools off natural gas could cost the Vancouver School Board $3.6 million per year, a mid-sized hospital $600,000 per year in heating and sterilization costs, and TransLink two-and-a-half times more for fuel cell buses.