Oak Bay is on board with the proposed regional levy to improve and expedite environmental improvements in the Capital Regional District.
The CRD is making the rounds at council meetings, seeking a little more funding than previous years to target climate change.
The proposed increase to the annual levy would raise roughly $1.73 million in revenue and equate to an annual property tax hike of around $7.61 for a household assessed at $809,721 in 2021 rates. For 2022 the anticipated requisition is $1.4 million.
Glenn Harris, senior manager of environmental protection with the CRD presented the information to Oak Bay council Monday.
There are three key initiatives planned for next year and into the following four; a regional building energy retrofit program and two half-time positions – a corporate energy key project manager and a public electric vehicle (EV) coordinator.
A 2019-20 CRD survey of single-family home heating systems found Oak Bay primarily uses baseboard and gas heat. The CRD plans to install a concierge service that would help homeowners interpret energy assessments and guide them through available resources.
“The best way we think we can get homeowners understanding and moving through the myriad of different programs and objectives, rebates and grants is to have a service that homeowners can access to guide them through that,” Harris said.
A public EV coordinator would oversee implementation of a regional road map to increase EV adoption. On average, just under two per cent of vehicles registered in the region are electric, Harris said; in Oak Bay it’s about 2.7 per cent. Natural progression suggests it could hit 11 per cent by 2030, but the goal is 25 per cent.
CRD information shows 26 per cent of Oak Bay residents live in multi-unit buildings, which may not provide access to private EV chargers, one reason the regional district plans to focus on development of public EV infrastructure in the region.
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The corporate energy key project manager would be a new role, with that individual coordinating an organization-wide approach to energy management in buildings, fleet and infrastructure.
The CRD aims to reduce its corporate GHG emissions 45 per cent by 2030 and be net-zero by 2050. The regional goals are to drop 61 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
Municipalities have until Dec. 17 to support the increase or not. The bylaw amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass and earned the OK from Oak Bay on Nov. 30.
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