Content courtesy of Pembina
What’s Needed For Remote Communities Transitioning To Clean Energy
Remote communities transitioning to clean energy need better housing. There is a need to prioritize energy efficiency in these remote communities to successfully reduce diesel dependency. Addressing building inefficiency is increasingly a priority as remote communities and governments look to reduce diesel reliance. These improvements cannot be made without acknowledging and addressing that many of the issues with housing in these communities are a result of past and persisting government policy.
Homes are often mouldy and have insufficient heating and ventilation systems. Many communities are faced with chronic housing shortages, resulting in overcrowded homes and exacerbating already poor living conditions. Over half of the total diesel consumed in remote, often northern, communities is associated with heating buildings and homes. For federal and provincial governments to meet their commitments to support those living in remote communities to get off diesel, they must take a quality housing first approach.
To do this, governments should take the following actions:
- Develop community capacity to lead energy efficiency and building improvements.
- Deep retrofit existing buildings and update the window and door with designs that have thermal values that reach Passive House and Net Zero targets.
- Ensure new buildings and homes are low carbon and culturally appropriate.
- Significant financing is needed to address the existing infrastructure gap.
In the long-term, a government investment for deep retrofits and housing improvements is estimated to have significant socioeconomic benefits in those communities, including over 47,000 good full-time-equivalent jobs, $1 billion in household energy savings over 10 years and an $11 billion increase in home values. It also has the potential to significantly reduce diesel use in these remote communities.