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Montreal banning use of gas for new building construction

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The City of Montreal announced Wednesday it will be banning the use of gas as a source of heat in new constructions.

Officials say they are planning to adopt a bylaw to ban appliances, such as gas cookers, that emit heat-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in new small buildings.

The bylaw will also require new large buildings to be decarbonized.

There are some exceptions, such as "cooking appliances in commercial establishments, outdoor appliances such as BBQs connected to a removable gas cylinder, emergency generators and temporary heating appliances used during construction work."

New large buildings will also be allowed to install appliances that use gas from renewable sources.

Industrial buildings and those connected to a district heating network are also excluded from the regulations. 

The bylaw is part of the city's 2020-2030 climate plan, which includes a road map to zero-emission buildings by 2040.

Montreal states to become carbon neutral by 2050, it needs to reduce GHGs from buildings, which are responsible for a quarter of emissions.

It notes, "Every new building is an opportunity to avoid increasing emissions."

City officials say this is one of many steps towards a target of a 50 per cent reduction in GHG emissions due to building heating by 2030.

"In a context where Montreal's energy needs are growing and the metropolis must adapt its infrastructures to climate change, the executive committee's response to the commission and the bylaw on GHG emissions from new buildings represent significant advances in our community's ecological transition," said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.

The mayor notes the city is taking into consideration winter peak demand and pollutant emissions "while accelerating the deployment of solutions that benefit the resilience of our energy systems."

She states officials will accompany the construction industry in the transition.

The regulation will apply as of Oct. 1, 2024 for the new construction of small buildings and as of Apr. 1, 2025 for large buildings. 

A few weeks ago, the municipality of Prévost in the Laurentians became the first town in Quebec to ban the installation of gas systems in new homes.

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