A word from the president
What is the place of gas in society?
Reflection following the task force organized by the HPBAC
By Jean-François Fauteux, Coval’s president
| October 27, 2023
I would like to share with you some important information that emerged at the HPBAC (Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada) Canadian Gas Hearth Stakeholder Task Force meeting, which took place this early October in British Columbia. The issue is that cities like Montreal in Quebec will ban gas in new constructions and several other cities have similar projects. All this worries us. Like you, we wonder how to act responsibly in the face of environmental and energy issues. What are the solutions and consequences for our future?
Can the gas ban still be a small gesture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
This is where it gets tricky. Assuming you have access to green electricity for heating, water and cooking, you can ban gas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even so, if you use propane, banning its use will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions because propane is a waste product from the natural gas industry. As long as we produce fossil fuels, we will need to dispose of the propane that is produced in the production process.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel that directly contributes to global warming. At least gas pipelines are very efficient and cause very few losses. In addition, its combustion is very efficient in terms of energy produced. In fact, it is one of the most efficient sources of energy we have. With our electricity supply limited, natural gas remains the best alternative for many applications. But natural gas, until we include a lot more RNG, increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So when there is an alternative, we should consider it.
What is the rational use of inefficient gas logs, outdoor gas fireplaces or decorative fire pits for recreational purposes? Gas industries have shared innovative ideas with HPBAC to help municipalities that want to regulate gas.
As an industry, we need to show our government that we are responsible. If we don’t regulate ourselves, the government will, and we may not like it.
- Allow new construction to use gas, but only RNG.
- Prohibit the sale of units that do not have the “Enerchoice” seal.
It is important to note that the revision of the “Enerchoice” criteria was also cited as an issue that the industry can work on.
What can we do to help reduce greenhouse gases?
The fireplace industry can be an incredible partner for municipalities and governments wanting to get involved in the fight against global warming. We can offer excellent alternatives to gas, such as wood and pellet stoves and fireplaces. However, gas remains, in certain situations, still a wise choice. Our network of specialists can help customers make the right choice. This is a tremendous opportunity for us.
Having an efficient fireplace is a great addition to any home. It reduces electricity demand when it is cold, during peak hours. It is also a safety feature in the event of a power outage. We recommend encouraging the addition of an efficient stove or fireplace in the home.
- Wood heating offers an excellent alternative to gas, when possible. The devices currently on the market emit much fewer particles than non-certified wood stoves and are available both to heat an entire house for several hours and as decorative devices that can heat a room in the event of a power outage . Wood is a local biomass and wood heating is carbon neutral.
- Pellet heating offers efficiency as high as a furnace and can be fully automated and connected to a thermostat for an even temperature throughout the home. Wood pellet is a local biomass made from waste from the wood industry. A pellet stove consumes less than 100 watts when operating and can run for many hours on a simple computer battery backup.
- For many situations, these two options make a lot of sense. However, here are some conditions under which gas should be considered:
- – Urban area where the density is very high and where wood smoke could be a nuisance.
- – Urban area with no possible place to store wood.
- – Condominiums
- – Homes with elderly people or people with reduced mobility for whom handling bags of wood or pellets can be a problem.
Contact your communities and make sure they are in contact with the APC. Together, we can help develop regulations that are more comprehensive, effective and responsible than a unilateral gas ban.
N.B. Please note that these comments are not the official position of the HPBAC or the APC, but a summary of the information transmitted during the meeting and, therefore, my interpretation, in a Quebec context, of said information.
Autumn has now arrived, which also means that it is apple season. If you’re not the type to put on your checkered jacket and invade the pick-your-own orchards, we give you another option to still enjoy apples: CIDER. Formerly very classic, it has evolved a lot and the cider makers offer us products that are just as different from each other.
Thanks to the collaboration of Boucherie Brunelle, Alain Larose, chef, returns once again with his recipes, each one more original and tasty than the last. With the return of the cold weather, it’s time for comforting meals. This time, a surprising mix of beef, squash and root beer, to be discovered tenderly.
In fact, natural gas is one of the most efficient sources of energy we have. With our electricity supply limited, natural gas remains the best alternative for many applications. But natural gas, until we include a lot more RNG, increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So when there is an alternative, we should consider it.