GOLDSTEIN: Trudeau’s Climate Goals Could Cost $ 18G for Home Modernization

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So how would you pay up to $ 18,000 to renovate your home to help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet his 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goals?

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A CD Howe Institute study says that’s how much it might cost for a typical detached single-family home.

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Spread the costs across all single-family and out-of-town homes (semi-detached houses, townhouses, multiple housing units like condos and rental apartments) and you could get away with it with an average cost of $ 14,500 and a range of $ 12,000 to $ 17,000.

It would also have to happen quickly to get closer to meeting Trudeau’s emission targets, say authors Charles DeLand and Alexander Vanderhoof in their report, “Just hot air? The implications of replacing oil and gas in Canadian homes “.

“Our modeling finds that Canada would need to refurbish over 400,000 homes per year (1,158 per day) to fully electrify all homes by 2050, and reaching the 2030 targets requires even more aggressive action – more than 500,000 modernizations would be needed. per year, ”DeLand said.

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“This roughly equates to adjusting the total number of Saskatchewan households each year for over 30 years.”

The price, the report says, would be between $ 4.5 billion and $ 6.3 billion annually and on a cumulative basis, $ 143 billion and $ 203 billion in 2022.

This compares with the entire $ 180 billion budget of the federal government’s “Canada Infrastructure Investment Plan,” of which housing infrastructure is only a part.

Despite these expenditures, Trudeau’s emission targets for housing have not yet been met.

“Even in an extreme scenario where no new issuing buildings have been placed on the market after 2022,” the study says, “emissions only decline by about 26% until 2030, still not enough to meet government targets ( or 42%) “.

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The authors note that their proposal to reduce residential emissions from burning natural gas and oil to heat air and water by retrofitting homes with electric heat pumps would be too expensive to be practicable anywhere.

In the real world, “other emission reduction measures will have to bear the burden more (including) energy efficiency improvements in homes, building code reviews and the combination of heat pumps with natural gas ovens.”

But the report is valuable in that it is a necessary dose of reality about Trudeau’s emissions targets, in which political and public discussion is almost entirely centered on emissions from the oil and gas and transportation sectors of the economy.

In fact, emissions from buildings, including residential homes, are the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and seven sectors of the economy are affected in all.

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Huge spending is needed in all seven to meet Trudeau’s emissions targets of 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

Another important issue is the feasibility of Trudeau’s goal of reducing emissions in the Canadian electricity sector to zero by 2035, as it is critical to meeting emissions targets in every other sector of the economy.

This is because they all rely on replacing fossil fuel energy with a greater dependence on electricity generated from non-emitting sources such as nuclear, hydro, wind and solar power, while some of Canada’s electricity production is still supplied by fuels. fossils, including natural gas and coal that emit greenhouse gases.

Federal and provincial governments have some programs to assist homeowners in the cost of reducing the carbon footprint of their homes, but none come close to the cost of meeting Trudeau’s goals.

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