No more natural gas heating?

It seems the Ontario is going spend $7-billion on a sweeping climate change plan!

Highlights include:

  • $3.8-billion for new grants, rebates and other subsidies to retrofit buildings, and move them off natural gas and onto geothermal, solar power or other forms of electric heat. Many of these programs will be administered by a new Green Bank, modelled on a similar agency in New York State, to provide financing for solar and geothermal projects.
  • New building code rules that will require all homes and small buildings built in 2030 or later to be heated without using fossil fuels, such as natural gas. This will be expanded to all buildings before 2050.
  • Other building code changes will require major renovations to include energy-efficiency measures. All homes will also have to undergo an energy-efficiency audit before they are sold.
  • $285-million for electric vehicle incentives. These include a rebate of up to $14,000 for every electric vehicle purchased; up to $1,000 to install home charging; taking the provincial portion of the HST off electric vehicle sales; an extra subsidy program for low– and moderate-income households to get older cars off the road and replace them with electric; and free overnight electricity for charging electric vehicles. The province will also build more charging stations at government buildings, including LCBO outlets, and consider making electrical vehicle plug-ins mandatory on all new buildings. The plan sets targets of expanding electric vehicle sales to 5 per cent of all vehicles sold by 2020, up to 12 per cent by 2025, and aiming to get an electric or hybrid vehicle in every multivehicle driveway by 2024, a total of about 1.7 million cars.
  • New lower-carbon fuel standards would require all liquid transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, to slash life-cycle carbon emissions by 5 per cent by 2020. The plan will also provide $176-million in incentives to fuel retailers to sell more biodiesel and 85-per-cent ethanol blend. The government will also oblige natural gas to contain more renewable content, such as gas from agriculture and waste products.
  • $280-million to help school boards buy electric buses and trucking companies switch to lower-carbon trucks, including by building more liquid natural gas fuelling stations.
  • $354-million toward the GO regional rail network.
  • $200-million to build more cycling infrastructure, including curb-separated bike lanes and bike parking at GO stations.
  • $375-million for research and development into new clean technologies, including $140-million for a Global Centre for Low-Carbon Mobility at an Ontario university or college to develop electric and other low-carbon vehicle technology.
  • $1.2-billion to help factories and other industrial businesses cut emissions, such as by buying more energy-efficient machines.
  • $174-million to make the government carbon neutral. This will include retrofitting buildings, allowing some bureaucrats to work from home and buying carbon offsets.

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