What’s really happening in the City of Vancouver when it comes to natural gas?

​​The timeline below provides information on what steps Mayor Gregor Robertson and the City of Vancouver have already taken and plan to take, how those plans will impact residents and local businesses, and what others have to say about the City’s plans.

November 2015

Vancouver City Council approves Renewable City Strategy, requiring 100% renewable energy use by 2050.

July 2016

Council approves Zero Emissions Building Plan, requiring all newly permitted buildings to have zero emissions by 2030.

September 2016

Several media outlets cover the city’s proposed natural gas ban.

September 2016

The city issues a memo in response to an opinion piece in The Province regarding the ban on natural gas. The memo identifies BC Hydro (B.C.’s electric utility company) as a co-funder for the city’s research and consultation of the Zero Emissions Building Plan, and reiterates their commitment to derive 100 per cent of Vancouver’s energy from renewable sources before 2050.

November 2016

Council approves amendments to Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings, as part of the Renewable City Strategy, that require both new and rezoned buildings to reduce GHG emissions by 50%, effectively banning conventional natural gas.

November 2016

November 2016: Council defeats a motion titled “Commitment to Affordable Energy in the City of Vancouver” which asked for support for natural gas as an affordable source of energy. The motion stated: “Taking action that limits the number of residential and commercial users of natural gas will have an impact on affordability for restaurants, caterers and other suppliers and limit the ability of suppliers to maintain natural gas as a utility.”

FEBRUARY 2017

FortisBC states that its renewable natural gas supply is inadequate for the city’s current 108,000 natural gas users, and would only meet demands of less than 1% of Vancouverites.

February 2017

Council approves bylaw changes that extend GHG emission limits to multi-family dwellings under seven stories and large single-family homes, starting March 2018.

March 2017

SFU Professor of Sustainable Energy Mark Jaccard releases a report that explains how the City of Vancouver is effectively banning natural gas. Jaccard’s report confirms that renewable natural gas is simply not realistic in the foreseeable future.

May 2017

Moving forward, new high rise buildings and those that require rezoning will no longer be able to install or employ natural gas lines.

October 2017

Council approves bylaw changes that will increase the cost of gas fitting and inspection fees – once again making it more difficult and expensive for people to use natural gas. The increased fees will be in effect starting 2018.

March 2018

All multi-unit residential buildings & large single family homes will have to increase energy efficiency, restricting the choice to use natural gas for heating or cooking.

May 2018

Councillors voted to ease their ill-conceived restrictions on natural gas in the City of Vancouver. However, some Councillors expressed disappointment that the City was not taking further steps to restrict natural gas in the City. We need to keep the pressure on to ensure we continue to choose how we heat and power our homes and businesses.

So, what does this mean?

It means the Mayor and the City of Vancouver have decided for you how you cook, how you entertain, how you heat your home, how you run your business. It’s your home, it’s your business. It’s your lifestyle. Shouldn’t it be your choice?

Keep the pressure on! Say no to restricting energy choice in Vancouver!

Save My Natural Gas is a coalition of concerned residents and small business owners across Vancouver and throughout the Lower Mainland. We are focused on: raising awareness of the importance of energy choice and urging the City of Vancouver to engage in meaningful community consultation on energy choices.