Regional District of Nanaimo directors voted against introducing rebates for natural gas fireplace inserts.
At its July 28 meeting, the board voted down a recommendation to introduce rebates into the regional district’s green building incentive program, citing only residents in pockets of French Creek, Nanoose and Cedar would be eligible.
The regional district also said natural gas fireplaces don’t provide notable energy savings or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The regional district referred to a 2011 Canadian Centre for Housing Technology study, entitled The Impact of Gas Fireplace Operation on Winter Energy Consumption and House Temperatures, which it said found operation of fireplaces increased total house heating energy consumption in contrast to new gas furnaces and electric heating systems.
EnerChoice fireplace inserts had fuel efficiencies ranging from 61 to 90 per cent. New gas furnaces and electric heating were said to provide efficiencies over 90 per cent, said the regional district.
Alec McPherson, Cedar electoral area director, voted against the motion. He estimated 3,100 properties are in his area, with 1,000 having access to natural gas.
“In some of the other areas it’s worse and so when we were looking at that particular one, we said we all contribute to this through the tax bylaw and if we can’t all benefit equally, why would we be supporting it?” said McPherson.
Of the approximate 30 per cent of households having access to natural gas, McPherson said not all might be connected to the line.