Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) are gases that allow the sun’s rays to pass through and warm the earth, but prevent the warmth from escaping earth’s atmosphere. These gases are naturally occurring, and allow life to be sustained on earth. However, with the rapid increase of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels, our climate is slowly changing. To limit the damage caused by GHGs, Gibsons is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
COMMUNITY ENERGY AND EMISSIONS PLAN
In February 2013, a workshop facilitated by BC Hydro and the Community Energy Association was held with staff from the Town of Gibsons. The workshop group looked at the energy and emissions data for our community as a whole and then decided on an action plan for the community.
The resulting document, Sunshine-Coast-Community-Energy-and-Emissions-Plan (CEEP), evaluated the existing use and greenhouse gas emissions for the entire Town of Gibsons, with the goal of reducing energy consumption and emissions. The Plan outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency, while increasing a local renewable energy supply. The plan includes a reduction target of 7% below the measured 2007 levels by 2030, which is the same target set by the Sunshine Coast Regional District. This target can be reached in a variety of different ways, including developing or promoting building efficiency.
In early 2014, the Town of Gibsons’ Council endorsed the CEEP to be included in the Official Community Plan Update. If all the initiatives outlined in the CEEP are successfully implemented, the overall community energy costs are expected to be reduced by $1.4 million annually by 2020.
In January 2018, the Town of Gibsons received Community Milestone 4 from the Community Energy Association after submitting its Community Energy and Emission Plan and a series of Climate Action Review reports to showcase its implementation of activities related to climate change.
AVAILABLE REBATES FOR HOMEOWNERS
BC Hydro is working with the Town of Gibsons residents to offer rebates on a variety of home energy upgrades. For more information on how to participate click here
- If your home is electrically heated, visit www.bchydro.com/homerebates
- Product Incentive Program for BC Hydro commercial customers, visit www.bchydro.com/incentives
CLIMATE ACTION REVENUE INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Climate action is a key provincial priority and local governments like the Town of Gibsons are key partners in helping to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and create complete, compact and energy-efficient communities. The Town has signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter and every year makes an application for a refund of carbon taxes paid (approximately $2,500/year).
In this carbon tax calculation form you can see that 60% of the Town’s fuel for vehicles is biodiesel. Another part of this application is a report on Town initiatives for corporate and community wide GHG reductions. The Town has submitted a 2016 Climate Action / Carbon Neutral Progress Survey. The Town is considering developing a Carbon Neutral Plan in the near future, and updating the 2009 emissions inventory, in order to measure progress towards carbon neutrality of municipal operations.