Big opportunity knocks in B.C. building retrofitsRe: Port Alberni to receive $8.7 million in affordable housing, Nov. 14, 2018

Op-ed - Nov. 29, 2018 - By Betsy Agar

Published in Alberni Valley News (November 28, 2018)

Factor Building Panels in Squamish, B.C. Photo: Stephen Hui, Pembina Institute

As of 2050, an estimated 70 per cent of buildings standing today will still be in use. Unless we take action, homes and buildings constructed without regard for energy efficiency, carbon pollution, or air quality will continue to waste energy and cough up emissions until our children’s children are adults.

To make good on its climate goals, B.C. must reduce carbon pollution from buildings by 50–60 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030. B.C.’s task at hand is retrofitting 30,000 houses, 17,000 apartment units, and 3 million square feet of commercial space every year between now and 2050.

Meeting these goals will require private and public investment of up to $1 billion per year. This could create over 10,000 sustainable jobs across B.C. and generate $4–8 billion in economic growth.

This is a prime example of the bold action we need to see in this fall’s B.C. climate strategy. Making our homes and buildings energy-efficient, healthy, safe, and affordable should be B.C.’s next megaproject.

Betsy Agar
Senior analyst, Pembina Institute

Alberni Valley News published this letter to the editor on November 28, 2018 (page A9).

* Download this infographic.

Betsy Agar

Betsy Agar is manager of the Pembina Institute's buildings program, based in Vancouver.


Our perspectives to your inbox.

The Pembina Institute endeavors to maintain your privacy and protect the confidentiality of any personal information that you may give us. We do not sell, share, rent or otherwise disseminate personal information. Read our full privacy policy.