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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City of Nanaimo shouldn’t be eliminating energy options

Fortis B.C. says today’s natural gas system is tomorrow’s renewable and low-carbon system
British Columbians should have choice on how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their new home, but won’t have that choice if options are eliminated, says Fortis B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)

To the editor,

Re: City councillors recommend no natural gas in new homes, Aug. 9.

Nanaimo city council is considering eliminating access to natural gas in new buildings as part of its climate strategy. Such a move would do little to further climate goals, but it will reduce choice, raise prices and cut off homes and businesses from access to a system that delivers energy options today and in the future.

Fortis B.C. provides a resilient, reliable gas system that is complementary to the electricity system. By using our infrastructure to carry natural gas and renewable natural gas, we are reducing emissions while meeting Nanaimo’s energy needs, even during peak periods like winter, something the province’s increasingly stretched electricity system cannot easily do.

To support this and to meet anticipated demand, Fortis B.C. is increasing our supply of renewable natural gas and investing to introduce other renewable and low-carbon gases, such as hydrogen.

Today’s natural gas system is tomorrow’s renewable and low-carbon system. The infrastructure and energy are available today – it is simply a question of how we can best use it to serve British Columbians.

Both the provincial and federal governments recognize the importance of the gas system in meeting climate goals, and we hope municipalities like Nanaimo do too. Fortis B.C. is proposing that every newly built home in B.C. that is connected to our gas system will be supplied with 100 per cent renewable natural gas for the entire lifespan of the structure. If approved, this would give every British Columbian a choice on how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their new home, but not if we eliminate these options.

Combatting climate change means working together and keeping every option on the table.

Carmen LeBlanc, community and Indigenous relations manager, Fortis B.C.

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