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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of local governments in advancing energy efficiency for buildings : a British Columbia case study Zeeg, Taylor

Abstract

There is little doubt that local governments in Canada have a major role to play in addressing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Considering about 50% of the nation's GHGs are under the direct or indirection influence or control of local governments, and the fact that local governments are well-positioned to reduce emissions through land use, energy and transportation planning, the question is not so much whether there is a role for municipalities but rather what ought that role be. The thesis draws on a Community Energy Management (CEM) conceptual framework in order to define the relationship between planning decisions and energy use. Following an analysis of buildings' energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, potential energy technologies and design practices that reduce buildings' secondary energy use and emissions are explored. Using British Columbia as a case study, this thesis explores the policy instruments available to local governments to advance effective energy efficiency related policies. Though local governments across Canada and beyond operate in distinct statutory environments, the case study aims to provide some general insight about how to improve the energy performance of buildings, and reduce emissions. From the case study I derive recommendations for all local governments and explore the policy implications of the findings. This thesis demonstrates there is a range of at-hand policy instruments local governments can readily utilize in order to realize the necessary conditions for a more energy efficient built environment.

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