Victoria, British Columbia is debating a ban on gas ovens and heating for rezoned developments after several city councillors proposed a motion to have them powered only by electricity.
Councillors Dave Thompson, Susan Kim, Krista Loughton and Jeremy Caradonna tabled the motion on Low GHG/Electric energy systems in new buildings, explicitly making two requests.
Firstly, the councillors want rezoned developments to only have electric energy systems, meaning electricity powers heating, cooling, hot water and cooking in each residence.
And secondly, the councillors assert that in the event that "such mechanisms appear impossible or very costly," to produce reports which "prioritize" electric energy over alternatives.
According to the motion: "We are in a climate emergency. Victoria has targets for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and it will be difficult to hit those targets."
"About 40% of GHG emissions in Victoria are from buildings. Installing GHG-producing systems in new buildings will lock in decades of GHG emissions or require far-more-expensive retrofits later."
Victoria bylaws articulate that rezoning is required when a new development proposal fails to meet the area's existing use and density requirements.
The city has 93 rezoning applications for constructing residential buildings near its harbour, independent senior rental apartments in the downtown core and other developments.
Victoria previously implemented a gas prohibition for new homes, as city councillors touted the city's "zero carbon" policy to mandate all future developments using renewable energy to provide heat.
"Buildings account for nearly half of all greenhouse gas pollution generated in the city," said then-Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in an August statement.
"Each new building will last more than 50 years, so raising the bar now is critical to meeting our long-term climate goals and preparing future taxpayers to have less climate-related costs down the road."
Supporters of the policy claim it will reduce greenhouse gasses by 80%.
The province said about 87% of its electricity comes from hydroelectric sources. As of 2019, natural gas provided about 4% of its total energy.
As of 2025, Victoria will no longer permit the construction of housing heated by natural gas.
In May, the government-run electricity provider BC Hydro slammed the use of natural gas and gasoline vehicles in a tweet despite regulating major natural gas pipelines like Coastal GasLink, Kitimat LNG and other projects.
"'Natural' doesn't mean clean," wrote BC Hydro.