The Ford government is so determined to get housing built in Ontario that it is stripping away planning rules and short-circuiting municipal council decision making. But in its rush to make way for development, the government has missed a key element: the high cost of hooking up new developments to the fossil gas system.

Liberal MPP Ted Hsu (Kingston and the Islands) is well aware of how hooking-up new developments to gas is costly for both homeowners and the climate. He points to a development on the Kingston waterfront that could easily use a lake loop heat pump system for heating and cooling instead of gas if it weren’t for provincial rules requiring the local utility to connect it to fossil gas.

That’s why MPP Hsu has put forward Bill 29, the Think Twice Before You Choose Natural Gas Act. The Act would allow municipalities to make better choices when it comes to meeting the energy needs of their communities, by changing Ontario Energy Board rules that are blocking their efforts to meet their climate targets and implement smarter solutions, like heat pumps.

As a private members bill, the Act will need support from the government benches to pass. But it is exactly the kind of smart thinking Ontario needs now if it is to have any chance of meeting its climate targets.

We have documented how much air source heat pumps can save homeowners. Now our new report on ground source heat pumps tells the same story: huge savings for both homeowners ($24,000 to $37,000) and the climate. In fact, ground source systems can deliver even bigger savings than air source systems thanks to their higher levels of efficiency in situations where there is land or water available for the installation of the loops that feed the system.  (And be sure to also check out the recording of our heat pump webinar for more info on heat pump benefits.)

MPP Hsu thinks Kingston should not be required to spend millions hooking up new developments to climate-damaging fossil gas. He’s right. It’s just common sense that municipalities should not have their hands tied while doing their best to address the climate emergency. Allowing municipalities to require developers to install heat pumps and other clean technologies can lower our energy bills and greenhouse gas pollution. That is something every MPP should have no trouble voting for.

Click here to message your MPP and tell her/him to vote in favour of Bill 29

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