Montréal is committed to transforming its municipal building inventory by using renewable energy and improving energy efficiency to deliver better environmental performance. Businesses and residents are also encouraged to adopt eco-friendly solutions.
Greener construction and renovation
Our buildings are the second leading source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Montréal, after transportation. The choice of building materials, the energy consumed for heating and the quality of the building envelope are just some of the many ways to reduce the environmental footprint of Montréal’s municipal building inventory.
Commitments made by the city
There are approximately 500,000 buildings in Montréal. The potential for reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions is significant. The city owns 1,250 of these buildings. Specifically, it has made a commitment to:
- Replace the use of fossil fuels (such as natural gas, fuel oil and propane) in municipal buildings with renewable energy.
- Regulating GHG emissions from all buildings in the urban area, starting with the largest, through the By-law concerning GHG emission disclosures and ratings of large buildings.
- Strengthen regulations pertaining to energy efficiency and encourage the construction of sustainable buildings.
- Continuing to support green retrofits through programs for building owners.
What businesses can do
All small, medium and large businesses can take action to reduce GHG emissions and improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. If you are a business owner, you can:
- Convert your heating system to hydroelectricity, a source of renewable energy produced in Québec. GHG emissions generated by heating with hydroelectricity are 100 times lower than those generated by heating with natural gas.
- Plan to install heat pumps, which are much more efficient and therefore less expensive to operate than electric baseboard heaters, in addition to improving occupants’ comfort during the summer.
- Dispose of end-of-life refrigeration/air conditioning equipment responsibly, for example by consulting the business section of the RECYC-QUÉBEC website (in French).
- Use LED light bulbs, which are more sustainable and energy-efficient. Your company will reduce its energy consumption and thus save on its hydro bills.
- Completely shut down your computers and electronic devices when they are not in use, which can reduce their annual electricity consumption by up to 40 per cent.
- Consider renewable energy sources, such as solar heating, and favour natural lighting and ventilation.
What residents can do
You can also take action at home to protect the environment. For example, you can:
- Replace your fuel oil or natural gas heating system with one that uses electricity. An electrical system pollutes 160 times less than a fuel oil heating system. You can also get financial assistance under the Chauffez vert program. In addition, the city will help low-income households replace their fuel-oil heating systems.
- Carry out eco-friendly renovations by properly insulating your home. You will emit fewer GHGs and save on heating. For example, opt in favour of Energy Star-certified windows and optimal caulking (in French) for year-round thermal comfort. Energy Star windows also optimize natural ventilation in summer and allow you to maximize natural lighting, which will reduce your energy costs.
- Choose to install heat pumps, which are much more efficient and therefore less expensive to operate than electric baseboard heaters, in addition to making summertime more comfortable.
- Dispose of end-of-life refrigeration/air conditioning equipment responsibly, for example by consulting the citizens’ section of the RECYC-QUÉBEC website (in French).
- Enroll in Hydro-Québec’s dynamic pricing programs, which can save you money while minimizing energy consumption during peak periods.
- Use sun-blocking equipment (blinds) to improve your heating in winter and keep your home cool in summer.
- Shut off electronic devices (computers, televisions, etc.). Even in sleep mode, these devices consume energy. Unplug them: you could save up to 10 per cent on your hydro bills.