Buildings spew more than half of all Vancouver’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions every year and detached houses are the biggest culprit […] That fact is key to a staff recommendation that council adopt an energy retrofit strategy for existing buildings to drastically cut GHG emissions.
>”About 40,000 of Vancouver’s 77,000 detached homes were built before 1960. The report said most older homes could improve their energy efficiency with weather sealing, wall and attic insulation, furnace/boiler/hot water heater replacements and replacing old windows with new energy-efficient glazing.
About 55 per cent of GHG emissions in Vancouver come from buildings and of those detached homes create 31 per cent of building emissions, the report said.
That compares with industry’s 20-per-cent share and 18 per cent from multi-unit residential buildings.
The city’s Greenest City Action Plan has targeted a 20-per-cent reduction in GHG emissions from Vancouver buildings by 2020, which would eliminate 160,000 tonnes of emissions annually — the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road.
The report recommends the city partner with BC Hydro and/or FortisBC to study the effectiveness of using thermal imaging to identify poorly insulated homes.
… common energy-efficient building practices today include using vinyl or wood window frames instead of aluminum, along with the use of heat pumps, solar panels and drainwater recovery systems.
But Kerchum noted it can cost nothing to improve a home’s energy efficiency.
A recent Vancouver city initiative to improve energy efficiency in Vancouver homes — the Home Energy Loan Program — had a very low participation rate among homeowners.
The program called for homeowners to have an energy audit by a federally licensed auditor, who would recommend the best ways to reduce a home’s carbon footprint.”<