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Ontario, in an early draft of its climate plan, reportedly hinted it would eventually ban natural gas in all new buildings. After harsh backlash the province quickly backed away. But Vancouver, Canada’s fourth-largest city, is giving it a shot. Its city council voted recently on a plan to phase out the use of conventional natural gas for all new residential and business buildings by 2030, and to eliminate the use of natural gas for space heating by 2050. This will be achieved by switching heating systems to clean electricity, dramatically boosting building efficiency, and displacing natural gas in the system with renewable natural gas sourced from landfills, wastewater treatment plants and farms. There has been an outcry, of course, particularly from the restaurant industry, but so far Vancouver is sticking to its guns. If it doesn’t buckle under pressure, the city’s plan to reduce emissions from new buildings by 70 per cent by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2030 would be a North American first.
Any reduction in emissions from natural gas use in Vancouver, however, could be undone by the federal government’s approval Tuesday of the controversial Pacific Northwest LNG project planned for B.C.’s northwest coast. The $36 billion liquefied natural gas project, if built, is expected to boost B.C.’s total emissions by more than eight per cent, according to an early assessment. “Approving this project is inconsistent with the federal government’s commitments to lead on climate change,” said Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada.
To read the full article, please visit: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/climate-watch/climate-roundup-40-per-cent-of-canadians-polled-think-climate-science-is-unclear
Given the position of climate change at the top of most Liberal priority lists, Canadians might have expected to see rapid progress over the past year.
Justin Trudeau’s government is firmly entrenched in Ottawa. Canada’s biggest provinces, not to mention every province from Ontario east, are ruled by Liberal governments. Alberta, centre of Canada’s oil industry, is run by a New Democratic Party government committed to cleaning up practices it claims have tarnished Canada’s image. British Columbia brags of having the country’s most ambitious carbon tax, while Ontario insists it will take a back seat to no one as an anti-carbon warrior.
Yet, despite much self-congratulation, there is little to show for all the talk. Ottawa is still struggling to find common ground on a national approach to carbon pricing and regulation, with no sign of a breakthrough.
To read the full article, please visit: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/kelly-mcparland-it-turns-out-talk-isnt-enough-to-battle-climate-change
When media reports surfaced in early May suggesting Ontario was preparing to ban the use of natural gas for home heating, Premier Kathleen Wynne felt compelled to correct the record. Not only was her government not banning natural gas, she said, it was backing the expansion of natural gas lines into rural and northern communities. “It’s exactly the opposite of what was reported,” said Wynne, standing beside fellow Premier Rachel Notley during a visit to Alberta in May. “Natural gas will continue to play a critical role in the energy mix of Ontario, even as our climate change plan supports people and businesses shifting away from fossil fuels.” Despite assurances from Wynne that the two positions were “not in conflict with one another,” some onlookers saw nothing but contradiction. Deborah de Lange, an assistant professor of sustainable business strategies at Ryerson University, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She called Wynne’s statement “problematic.” “We shouldn’t be building more [natural gas] pipelines. The more you install the harder it is to get rid of them.” From de Lange’s perspective, the conflict with the province’s climate plan and targets is real. Ontario has committed to reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions to 37 per cent below 1990 levels within the next 14 years. By 2050, it has pledged an 80 per cent reduction. Neither the 2030 or 2050 emissions target is likely to be met if Ontario doesn’t accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels for heating buildings, and that includes natural gas. Buildings represent 19 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the province, and about two-thirds of that comes from natural gas used for space and water heating. Overall, natural gas supplies about three-quarters of primary heating needs for Ontario households, according to Statistics Canada. “So why on earth would you extend the natural gas system?” said de Lange.
To read the full article, please visit: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/climate-watch/is-ontarios-gas-expansion-plan-undermining-its-own-climate-strategy
Mississauga, February 25, 2015 – The Ontario Ministry of Energy (OME) is proposing to amend its energy efficiency regulation, O. Reg 404/12, and the Ministry is consulting with stakeholders prior to the formal posting of proposals on the Environmental Registry. The consultation will focus on eight products: water chillers, small central air conditioners and heat pumps, liquid-to-air geothermal heat pumps, room air conditioners, portable air conditioners, computer room air conditioners and small and large commercial gas-fired boilers.
The following documentation can be found on HRAI’s website.
1) Presentation made by the OME at the February 3, 2015 webinar regarding process and timing
2) Draft Technical Sheets, which show the draft proposed changes being considered by OME, and
3) Survey seeking comments on specific questions regarding the draft proposed changes.
With regard to the draft technical sheet, an asterisk (*) identifies all the draft proposed revisions which are more stringent than current efficiency standards of Natural Resources Canada, U.S. Department of Energy or ASHRAE Standard 90.1. Note that the draft proposed revisions for water chillers, small central air conditioners and heat pumps, liquid-to-air geothermal heat pumps, computer room air conditioners and small and large commercial gas-fired boilers all contain some of these proposed efficiency standards.
HRAI and AHRI plan on submitting comments questioning the OME’s intent to develop unique minimum efficiency requirements in view of the other activities ongoing to promote harmonization of U.S. and Canadian efficiency standards for residential and commercial equipment.
Mississauga, December 3, 2013 – On November 15th, the Ontario Geothermal Association awarded Dave Hatherton with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the betterment of the geothermal industry in Canada. As was noted at the meeting, Mr. Hatherton was literally “present at the birth” of the geothermal industry in North America and his resume plays like a “highlights reel’ of the major milestones in the industry.
He founded Water Furnace in Canada in 1980 and served as President for ten years. He co-founded WaterFurnace International in USA in 1983, served as V.P. Industry and Government Relations for WaterFurnace International from 1992 to 1995 and served in a similar role for ClimateMaster from 1996-1997. In 1998 he founded NextEnergy Inc. and served as its Chairman until selling the company to Green Energy in 2012.
The companies founded or co-founded by Mr. Hatherton have an installed base of over 500,000 geothermal systems (amounting to $6 Billion in retail sales) across North America. These companies account for approximately 60% of all residential installations in Canada.
Mr. Hatherton has also done his share of leading and volunteering with geothermal associations in Canada and the US. He is a Founding Member (1987) of the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), the Founding President (1988) of the Canadian Earth Energy Association (CEEA) and a Founding Director (1989) of the Earth Energy Association in the US. He has also served with the Washington-based Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium (GHOC) and the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC).
In 2010 Dave was awarded the Ernst & Young CleanTech Entrepreneur of the Year for Ontario.
Dave Hatherton is also a passionate and eloquent spokesperson for the industry and has inspired many others in the industry to follow the trail he has blazed. He is a richly deserving recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award given by the OGA.
Mississauga, May 9, 2013 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the deployment of new product finder tools for a host of products, including geothermal heat pumps. The product finder tool provides consumers, partners and interested third parties with an easily accessible, user-friendly search tool that displays the same product attributes which appear on current qualifies lists. The EPA encourages ENERGY STAR Manufacturing Partners to review their listed models and verify the accuracy of the data; concerns should be reported to your EPA-recognized certification body.
For updates on product finder tools, including additional key features and for a full list of previously released product finder tools, please visit www.energystar.gov/productfinder.
Mississauga, April 16, 2013 – HRAI today signed an affiliation agreement with the Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) that will make OGA a part of the HRAI organization and strengthen both associations’ position in the provincial and ultimately the national geothermal industry in Canada. This agreement is the culmination of more than 12 months of discussions between the two associations to work out terms that will be of value to members in both groups.
The key areas of service that HRAI and OGA will provide for the geothermal sector include:
Advocacy – coordinating the ‘voice’ of the geothermal sector on regulatory and legislative issues to government and other stakeholders in Ontario, and ultimately, across the country
Training – responding to the training and certification needs of the geothermal sector
Marketing – collaborating on marketing and PR initiatives to educate Canadians about geothermal technology
Industry Statistics – developing statistical data on the geothermal industry including product shipments and installations on a national and regional basis to achieve a better understanding of the geothermal market
Membership renewals of the OGA membership within HRAI will be coordinated over the next few months. OGA will be an affiliated association (i.e. chapter) similar to other such local groups that HRAI currently has in the province. Existing HRAI member contractors, wholesalers, manufacturers and associates who are currently engaged in the geothermal sector in Ontario will have the opportunity to affiliate with OGA at their discretion.
Mississauga, August 5, 2013 – The C448-13 was released on July 2013. The Standard now applies to systems using ground heat exchanges as a thermal source/sink for heating and/or cooling, with or without a supplementary heating source. The new CSA Group Standard, C448 Series, consists of three parts:
C448.0, Design and Installation of Earth Energy Systems – Generic Applications for All Systems
C448.1, Design and Installation of Earth Energy Systems for Commercial and Institutional Buildings
C448.2, Design and Installation of Earth Energy Systems for Residential and Other Small Buildings
C448.0 contains requirements applicable to any system within the scope of the C448 Series. C448.2 has alternative requirements for houses and small buildings. For systems within the scope of C448.2, either C448.1 or C448.2 may be followed. Underground thermal energy storage systems formerly contained within previous editions of this Standard under C448.3 have been removed with UTS-specific information distributed among the amended and included within the C488.0 and C488.1 where appropriate. Major changes in the 2013 edition include:
• New definitions
• Updated reference list
• Borehole decommissioning and abandonment
• New informative annex on standing column wells
• In the 2001 edition, 70% of the peak heat loss determined the size of the heat pump. In the 2013 edition the Standard introduces more
flexibility to size the unit appropriately (you can now use 65% of the peak heat loss of 95% of the annual energy load) for residential applications
• The 2013 edition allows you to oversize the unit based on future additions to the home in residential applications
• The inclusion of DX heat pumps
• The inclusion of PEX piping in the Standard
• The allowance for PE 4710 HDPE resin in the new Standard and the wall thicknesses of the pipe (PE 4710) has a higher pressure rating than
Purchase your copy today at http://shop.csa.ca/search?q=c448&categories=shop. The French edition will be available by January 2014.
Mississauga, March 24, 2013 – The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has posted an updated Technical Bulletin, Earth Energy Systems in Ontario (March 2013). This bulletin replaces the technical bulletin titled “Constructing Earth Energy Systems in Ontario” published by the Ministry of Environment in September 2009.
The March 2013 Technical Bulletin will be useful to designers and installers of earth energy (geothermal) systems, municipal Building Code officials, owners and other interested parties. It provides industry and others with an updated overview of Ontario’s environmental legislative framework governing the outside loop components of an earth energy system.
This updated Technical Bulletin was prepared with involvement from other ministries, including the ministries of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Natural Resources and Trades, Colleges and Universities. As well, a final draft was shared with industry stakeholder organizations in order to secure technical input prior to finalizing the Bulletin.
For further details on the above and to view the document, you may view the Environmental Registry posting here or by visiting the Environmental Registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca and searching on Registry Number 011-8552.
Mississauga, May 24, 2012 -- A licensed water well contractor recently encountered natural gas while drilling a geothermal borehole at a residence in Oakville, causing safety concerns. The borehole was drilled in sedimentary bedrock, which is found throughout much of Southern Ontario, and occasionally contains deposits of natural gas.
Experienced drillers manage natural gas deposits safely.
Ontario’s geological formations provide a vast source of low-cost, clean, renewable geothermal energy. Our geothermal industry has grown steadily in the last few years, completing thousands of geothermal projects with an outstanding safety record.
Drillers, experienced with shale geology, including water well and geothermal drillers, are aware of the possibility of encountering natural gas while drilling. The OGA agrees with the need to be equipped with the proper tools and know the procedures required to protect workers, the public and the environment.
OGA works with government to promote safety.
The Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) is a non-profit organization that represents the geothermal industry in the province. Our association is collaborating with the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) regarding the development of regulations for the geothermal drilling industry.
We welcome the recent interim measure take by the MOE to require an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) for the drilling of geothermal boreholes. Our association will share the best practices that our geothermal drillers have developed to create a safety culture and ensure protection of Ontario’s groundwater resources.
It is important that we continue to develop our geothermal resources in Ontario, while maintaining our industry’s high safety standards. We look forward to working with the MOE, our member and other stakeholders to develop new policies and regulations for the geothermal drilling industry and foster green jobs in Ontario.
On November 14-15, 2013, the Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) held its Annual General Meeting at Hockley Valley Resort in Orangeville, Ontario. The event attracted just over 90 attendees and is the first AGM held since the OGA signed an affiliation agreement with HRAI in April 2013.
The conference offered an array of speakers on a variety of topics. Some of the event’s speakers were:
• Andrew Pride, Vice President of Conservation at the Ontario Power Authority (OPA)
• A Manufacturer Panel which included Will Lange (WaterFurnace International), Steve Smith (Enertech Global LLC) and Paul Bony
(ClimateMaster), discussing the topic of “Rebuilding the Geothermal Industry in Ontario and Canada”
• Andrew Oding, Building Knowledge Canada, on the topic of “How to Leverage the New Building Code”
The OGA also held its Annual General Meeting as part of this annual conference, during which time John Bosman (Bostech Mechanial) was re-appointed as President of the OGA for 2013-2014.