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3. Fuel Switching Our Buildings

45% of our local GHG emissions in 2015 came from energy used in buildings. Most of this is from natural gas or other fossil fuels, used to heat our workplaces and homes, and provide hot water.
Space heating in most of the homes and businesses in Waterloo Region currently comes from natural gas. HVAC equipment, such as furnaces and boilers, transfer heat generated from the natural gas combustion to air or water, which is distributed throughout the building to provide space heating. In the average Canadian home, the hot water heater uses nearly a fifth of a home’s total energy from all fuel sources. Switching off of fossil fuels for heating and cooling needs in businesses and homes is one of the most impactful changes we can make to reduce GHG emissions locally.

We must address fuel switching while increasing energy efficiency in the buildings that already exist, as well as set expectations for how new ones will be built.