As part of a stricter environmental policy, Montreal is preparing to introduce new regulations concerning heating systems and kitchen appliances in new constructions. As of October 1, 2024, residential buildings not exceeding three floors and 600 square meters will be required to abandon combustion heating equipment and gas stoves. This obligation will be extended to larger constructions starting April 1, 2025.
The measure is an integral part of the strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and aims to encourage the use of renewable energies. However, exemptions are provided for larger buildings, which may continue to install combustion heating systems if they use gas from renewable sources. This nuance will reduce the load on the electricity network, particularly during peak consumption.
The new municipal ordinance excludes certain categories of appliances, such as portable barbecues or professional cookers in restaurants, as well as the use of temporary heaters on construction sites or emergency generators. In addition, future buildings must clearly identify the planned energy sources when applying for a building permit, under penalty of financial penalties in the event of non-compliance.
The municipal ambition is aligned with Montreal's 2020-2030 Climate Plan and the provincial strategy aimed at halving GHG emissions linked to the heating of buildings by 2030. These measures should not only promote the development of energy cleanliness and job creation in this sector, but also protect citizens against fluctuations in the cost of carbon and improve local air quality.
In this vein, Énergir, a major energy player in Quebec, has made a commitment that any new connection to its network will be powered by 100% renewable energy from 2024, except for the industrial sector. With a provincial objective of achieving that 10% of distributed gas is renewable by 2030, municipal initiatives such as that of Montreal are taking a leading role.
It should be noted that this development is not isolated. Other Quebec municipalities, such as Prévost and Laval, have also taken similar initiatives, although some have sparked contrasting reactions, particularly from energy suppliers concerned about the potential impact on their infrastructure. These measures reflect a growing movement towards a sustainable energy transition at the local level.