Environmental News: This Week in CanadaApril 2, 2018
VANCOUVER- CANADA’S HOTSPOT FOR PASSIVE HOMES
Perhaps a result of Vancouver’s mandate to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, the demand for Passive homes in Vancouver has skyrocketed within the last 3 years. But what exactly is a “Passive home”? According to Global News, Passive homes are homes that are energy efficient, strategically designed and meticulously built to maximize natural heat sources and reduce energy costs. Homes designed in this manner are expected to be 90% more energy efficient that regular homes built to the building code. Moreover the upfront construction and materials cost associate with building a Passive home is only marginally more (10% more) that regular home and can allow home owners to have heating bills as low as $300/year – savings that would be attractive to any prospective home owner.
BC’S NEWEST TAXES AND FEES ARE NOW IN EFFECT
Get ready for a doozie of new tax increases and fees! BC’s newest set of taxes and fees, which are aimed at encouraging environmental conservation, have come into effect as of April 1st, 2018. Included in these tax introductions and increases are a 1 cent per litre carbon tax increase. With Metro Vancouver gas prices currently soaring as high as $1.575/ liter, this carbon tax increase means even more pain at the pumps as prices are expected to climb over $1.60/litre. Currently Metro Vancouverites pay $0.3217/ liter of gasoline in taxes. However, this increase is the first of 4 annual carbon tax increases that will make Metro Vancouver home to the most expensive fuel prices and the second highest fuel taxes in North America. Also on the list of fee increases, the province has doubled the tax on the purchase of cars worth more than $150,000 to 20 per cent as of April 1. The BC government estimates that this fee amendment will bring in roughly $10 million per year. BC Hydro also introduced a 3% increase on it’s services contrary to a NDP promise against this, amounting to roughly a $4/month increase for the average BC household.