- Thermal Audit
Climate Change and Emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador
Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Emissions Trading
These are included together just because there is currently a department by that name. It should be eliminated for an annual savings of one million dollars.
We can contribute to climate change by improving building code so that we use less heat and reduce the need for the oil fired Holyrood generator. These simple building code improvements (more insulation, maximums on the heating required, etc.) do not need an independent department. Worring about efficiency when there are hundreds of public buildings in the province that don't have any insulation under the floors is like worrying about which brand of low flow shower head to buy while ignoring a garden hose that has been running 24 hours a day for 30 years.
Emissions Trading is an immoral farce and shouldn't exist.
Currently, this department operates http://turnbackthetide.ca/, a site consisting mostly of trivia and occasionally misleading information gathered from other sources. What is the point of telling people "It is recommended that you have a knowledgeable professional install windows and doors" when the vast majority of brand new homes have improperly installed windows because it is cheaper to drive a few nails and spread some plastic tape and no inspector or building regulation is going to stop you.
The following should be done instead using existing departments:
- Insulate all public buildings properly and completely. The department of Transportation and Public Works should do this anytime there is a building upgrade of any kind.
- Implement consumer rebates on pellet stoves and heat pumps
- New subdivisions should be in grids so that homes can all have southern exposures
- All homes should have a south facing roof for future solar panels
- All shower drains should go to a common drain with a clear 48 inch section for drain water heat recovery.
- Build a few smaller hydro-electric projects (not Muskrat) to replace diesel generators in remote communities, and to reduce the need for the Holyrood power plant.
- Set enforceable standards to ensure windows are installed properly
- Ban electric resistance heat in new commercial buildings. Use heat pumps.
- Set minimum thermal standards. Houses should be cheap to heat - not a threat to family food budgets.
- In conjunction with MUN Engineering, design a reference house for Newfoundland and one for Labrador. They would be cheap to operate, support an extended family and plans would be free to the public.
An entire governmental department for attending meetings and conferences, travel and propaganda to discuss our "responsibilities" is a waste of time and money. It is far better just to quietly do it. In the process of ensuring that Newfoundlanders have new homes that are inexpensive to heat and that the heating of public infrastructure isn't a gross waste of tax, we not only move towards sustainability, but do more than our fair share towards environmental protection.