Nav: Home

Montreal households the greenest in Canada: UBC study

July 27, 2016

Montreal homes are the most sustainable in the country, and Edmonton's the least, according to a new University of British Columbia study that compares average household greenhouse gas emissions in major cities across Canada.

Using census data over a 12-year span, researchers ranked cities on how much carbon dioxide the average Canadian family (two to three people) with an annual income of $81,000 in each city produced in a year from the combined use of electricity, gasoline and natural gas.

The average Montreal household produces five tonnes of GHG per family per year, while the average Edmonton household emits 20 tonnes per family per year.

"Montrealers do well because of their supply of affordable hydropower, and their use of electric heating," said study co-author Sumeet Gulati, an environmental economist and UBC professor in the faculty of land and food systems. "Edmonton does poorly due to its extreme weather, low density and reliance on coal."

Average household CO2 emissions (based on electricity, gasoline and natural gas use)

  • Montreal, 5.4 tonnes per year
  • Vancouver, 7.2 tonnes per year
  • Winnipeg, 8.1 tonnes per year
  • Toronto, 9.6 tonnes per year
  • Regina, 16.3 tonnes per year
  • Calgary, 18.2 tonnes per year
  • Edmonton, 20.7 tonnes per year
Gulati said he was surprised Montreal ranked first ahead of Vancouver, where despite a milder climate, the average household emits seven tonnes of GHG per year. He said the reason is natural gas prices in Quebec are the highest in Canada, while the cost of natural gas in B.C. is lower, and therefore more widely used in home heating.

The study, forthcoming in Regional Science and Urban Economics, also found an overall decline in average household GHG emissions across Canada from 11.5 tonnes per year in 1997 to 9.7 tonnes in 2009.

"We are using cleaner energy, and people are moving to cleaner compact cities," said Gulati.
-end-
Background

The city that the household is located in influences its energy use and thus GHG emissions. Weather creates demand for indoor climate control, density influences driving behaviour and the size of average dwellings, and age of the housing stock influences energy efficiency. Greenhouse gas emissions are also influenced by the source of energy used for heating/cooling.

The authors, Sumeet Gulati, and Juan Fercovic, a former graduate student in food and resource economics at UBC, predict emissions emitted by a standard Canadian household if placed randomly in one of Canada's metropolitan areas.

Read the full study here: http://bit.ly/2anTtLo

Average household CO2 emissions (based on electricity and gasoline use only)*

Montreal
Victoria
Vancouver
Winnipeg
Quebec City
Ottawa
St John's
Toronto
Charlottetown
Yellowknife
Whitehorse
Calgary
Regina
Saskatoon
Halifax
Edmonton
Saint John, NB
* Data for natural gas consumption was not available for 10 cities



Other findings:
  • The average family consumes the most gasoline in St. John and the least in Yellowknife
  • The average family consumes the most electricity in St. John and the least in Toronto
  • The average family consumes the most natural gas in Edmonton and the least in Montreal


University of British Columbia

Related Natural Gas Articles:

Gold-plated crystals set new standard for natural gas detectors
Materials scientists and engineers have developed a sensor that is fast, sensitive and efficient enough to detect specific wavelengths of electromagnetic energy while on the move.
Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas
Rice University scientists map out the best materials for either carbon dioxide capture or balancing carbon capture with methane selectivity.
Unconventional: The Development of Natural Gas from the Marcellus Shale
Shale gas has changed thinking about fossil energy supplies worldwide, but the development of these resources has been controversial.
Campus natural gas power plants pose no radon risks
When Penn State decided to convert its two power plants from their historic use of coal as a source of energy to natural gas, there was concern about radon emissions.
Russian researchers developed high-pressure natural gas operating turbine-generator
Scientists of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) developed turbo expander electric generator operating on high-pressure natural gas.
New Marcellus development boom will triple greenhouse gas emissions from PA's natural gas
Natural gas production on Pennsylvania's vast black shale deposit known as the Marcellus Shale will nearly double by 2030 to meet growing demand, tripling Pennsylvania's greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas sector relative to 2012 levels, according to a report published today by Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
Researcher studies increased predation of sagebrush songbirds in natural gas fields
While such development has encroached on and hindered nesting habitat for three types of sagebrush-obligate birds, predation of these birds has increased because rodent populations in the vicinity of oil and gas wells have increased.
UChicago startup turns renewable energy into natural gas
One of the biggest challenges to wider adoption of wind and solar power is how to store the excess energy they often produce.
New study to characterize methane emissions from natural gas compressor stations
Colorado State University, home to some of the world's top researchers on methane emissions, will lead a Department of Energy-supported project to analyze emissions from a specific part of the natural gas supply chain: compressor stations.
Natural gas hydrate in the foraminifera
Highly saturated natural gas hydrates have been discovered in the fine-grained sediments of Shenhu area, South China Sea.

Related Natural Gas Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...