The government is banking on greater energy sobriety to reduce its GHGs

The government is banking on greater energy sobriety to reduce its GHGs
The government is banking on greater energy sobriety to reduce its GHGs

The government is banking on greater energy sobriety for Quebecers to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets by devoting nearly $1 billion to it.

“This edition of [plan] grants, for the first time, a special place to measures in energy sobriety and efficiency”, we can read in the update of the Plan for a green economy presented by the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, on Tuesday.

Consumption reduction and energy efficiency are described as “priority actions”.

The government has also integrated its Energy Transition, Innovation and Efficiency Master Plan into its green plan. Thus, the entire envelope of the Legault plan to reduce GHGs is now $10 billion.

Of this sum, $9.3 billion comes from the implementation plan of the Plan for a Green Economy and $786 million, from the energy sobriety and efficiency measures of the energy transition plan. The plan adds $90 million in new money.

Mr. Charette, who is not used to shock formulas unlike the Minister of Energy Pierre Fitzgibbon, nevertheless affirmed that Quebecers were going to have to change certain habits.

“Sobriety is not necessarily sacrifices that are imposed, but yes there are changes in behavior that will be necessary, we do not hide it,” he declared.

The plan specifies that sobriety “consists of reviewing our consumption habits in order to prioritize essential needs while moving away from those that would be superfluous.” He cites the example of replacing the use of the car with that of the bicycle or reducing the heating temperature by one degree in winter.

The stick and the carrot

The minister especially insisted on the incentive measures that will be put forward to support the population.

“We really have this stick versus carrot approach, but in many cases it’s saving energy that is otherwise wasted,” he continued.

The objective is to double electricity savings to meet increasing demand, but also to achieve the GHG reduction target.

The war effort will, however, be divided equally between the industrial, residential and commercial sectors.

Starting this year, Rénoclimat’s funding for insulation work has been increased to reach nearly $124 million, then approximately $50 million in subsequent years. The plan also cites Hydro-Québec’s new LogisVert program, which allows you to obtain financial assistance to purchase a heat pump, for example.

The plan mentions a pilot project which should begin next year and will allow heat pumps to be installed in low-rent housing. Funding for the Éconologis program, which provides advice and electronic thermostats to low-income households, will double by 2029, from $5.5 million to $10.5 million. The eligible income thresholds have been raised.

The government, for its part, is committed to reducing heating and air conditioning in its buildings from next year. He also plans to tackle lighting in public buildings later.

67% of measures identified

The government has now identified 67% of the measures that will allow it to reduce GHG emissions by 37.5% by 2030. The plan, updated each year, has thus improved by 7% compared to the last year.

By adding other measures whose impacts cannot be precisely calculated, the government estimates that between 73 and 77% of the effort required is now known.

A 37.5% reduction in GHG emissions compared to the 1990 threshold represents a reduction of approximately 30 megatons. According to unofficial data from 2022, Minister of the Environment Benoit Charette announces a downward trend in GHGs of 3 megatons compared to 2019.

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