Saanich is the first municipality in the Capital Regional District to approve a draft climate action plan in response to the climate emergency declaration made in March.
The draft plan was endorsed by council at the Sept. 30 meeting. It includes five community actions and five corporate actions that the municipality has committed to take in an effort to meet the climate targets that council adopted in August; Saanich will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The five community actions focus on zero emission vehicles, energy efficient upgrades to homes, tree planting, increasing the capacity of residents and converting to low carbon heating systems.
Saanich will implement the Home Energy Retrofit Municipal Financing Pilot Project to convert all oil heating systems to low carbon systems by 2030. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure requirements for new developments will go up in June 2020 to double the number of charging ports. Saanich will plant 10,000 trees in the District by 2025.
Energy upgrades for existing buildings will be supported through top-ups to the CleanBC rebate program. Residents could see up to $6,050 in rebates for switching to low-carbon heating systems and $450 for completing an EnerGuide Home Evaluation – an energy efficiency audit.
Through the corporate actions, District staff will model a low-carbon lifestyle through sustainable commuting, having low-carbon catering for meetings and developing a plan to reduce emissions from the fleet. Development project reports to council will also include a climate scorecard and business case analyses will include a carbon price.
The action plan will be implemented over the next six months to two years.
For more information about how residents can contribute to the climate goals and to read the draft plan, visit saanich.ca/climateplan.