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City of Montreal to ban oil heating by 2030 in bid to fight climate change

In this file photo taken Jan. 25, 2010, Reed Richards fills a home heating oil tank. .
In this file photo taken Jan. 25, 2010, Reed Richards fills a home heating oil tank. . Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced Monday that the city is moving away from heating oil to protect the environment and fight climate change.

“The climate emergency is becoming more and more concrete,” she said. “The flood episode that our fellow citizens are currently experiencing is only one striking example of the disruptions that await us if we remain idle.”

Plante explained that in a bid to have a carbon neutral real-estate stock, the city chose to tackle the issue of fuel oil.

“This product still represents 28 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions on the island for the residential sector, and 14 per cent of emissions for the commercial and institutional sectors, ” she said.

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Plante said all municipal buildings will have moved away from oil heating systems by 2021.

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“We, at Ville de Montréal, have made available $4 million in order to enable us to complete the conversion,” she said.

The ban, which will only fully come into effect in 2030, targets all sectors including residential, industrial and institutional buildings.

READ MORE: Stepping up — Turner Heating filling up empty oil tanks on the West Island

Plante said the city set 2030 as its target in order to give homeowners and landlords time to make the transition to alternate energy sources.

“It is the start of a long-term process,” she said. “To do things right, it takes time and resources.”

Part of the process involves mapping and rating the types of buildings on the island.

“That is why we will establish a program to identify all oil-heated buildings with the help of the Trottier, Suzuki and C40 foundations,” Plante said, adding it was a collective effort.

READ MORE: Ultramar responds to West Island residents fuming over heating oil woes

The city will be drafting new regulations to prohibit oil heating systems in new buildings, as well as in all existing buildings undergoing major renovations.

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Plante acknowledged the conversion could put a financial strain on some homeowners, but pointed to existing programs — such as Chauffez Vert, or Heat Green — which offers financial incentives to those making the switch.

She also said the city would work with the provincial government to improve upon existing programs.