Talk about a good news, bad news thing.
Though awareness of the climate and health risks of residential natural gas continues to rise, the total number of British Columbia households hooked up to receive the fossil fuel is still steadily increasing.
In the five year period leading up to the end of 2020, FortisBC, the province’s natural gas utility added 67,494 new households to its service.*
This past year, the company set up close to 12,977 new accounts. That’s close to 13,000 new furnaces, water heaters, and/or fireplaces—venting climate pollution into the atmosphere and air pollution into gas-connected kitchens.
Those 13,000 new natural gas connections are mostly new homes and condos—builders and developers routinely connect new homes to the natural gas network. Those building single family detached private homes in neighbourhoods already served by the fossil fuel can connect their project to the main supply pipe for as little as $15.
Companies building high-rise condo towers often connect hundreds of new natural gas fireplaces in a single project. Once they are installed, they lock in decades of climate and air pollution from each apartment.
We can’t keep going on like this. This is a climate emergency. A steadily expanding natural gas system will push British Columbia’s CleanBC goals further out of reach.
It’s time for British Columbia to switch up to healthier, non-polluting 100 per cent electric heating and cooking technologies. Take the Switch It Up BC Pledge and then invite two friends to follow your lead!
* Residential account data via SEDAR regulatory filings.