The eagerness of Quebec municipalities, such as Prévost and Montreal, to ban the use of gas in their territories is harmful to the energy transition. There is a risk of creating regulatory chaos that leaves alternatives that provide resilience to communities for their energy, security and energy needs. When you ban something, you need an alternative.
Propane offers an efficient alternative that generates less impact on the environment, strengthening the resilience of our electricity grid, especially in the event of consumption peaks or prolonged power outages.
Before adopting similar measures, it is crucial that other municipalities examine the overall effect of these policies on reducing GHG emissions in their buildings.
Propane, which is too often associated with the barbecue tank, actually plays a vital role in Quebec’s energy infrastructure. Agricultural, industrial, transport, food, heating systems sectors – all depend on this energy source, especially in contexts where alternative technologies are not yet viable.
This dependence is recognized by the Quebec government, which wisely set aside a strategic reserve in its 2022 budget, highlighting the importance of propane in particular to ensure food security in greenhouses and grain drying. Propane consumption in Quebec represents 5.2 TWh, or the production of two large hydroelectric complexes, which demonstrates its essential role.
Aware of its responsibility, the Quebec Propane Association (AQP) recognizes that Quebec must minimize its carbon footprint and is committed to a prudent and responsible energy transition. Propane, as a temporary solution, remains essential in the short to medium term for key sectors of our economy.
We argue that stricter energy efficiency standards, in terms of building insulation and heating appliance efficiency, will have a much more significant impact on reducing GHGs and limiting peak consumption electricity In the absence of a reduction in these peaks, the use of propane remains a necessity. These measures, rather than formal bans, require a coherent and thoughtful commitment from governments and citizens.
AQP is committed to moving toward increasingly renewable propane and reducing its ecological impact. It is essential to consider the communities’ energy portfolio to determine the most appropriate solutions, without rushing into the application of regulations that, although symbolically strong, could be less effective in certain contexts. We call on the Quebec government to initiate a national reflection on the use of gas to avoid hasty and haphazard municipal regulations that endanger Quebec’s energy stability.
Our call is for a fair and responsible transition, avoiding an abrupt ban and preferring an approach where each energy source is used optimally. The right energy, in the right place, at the right time: this is our credo.
The AQP wants to be part of a constructive and open approach, ready to collaborate with all interested parties so that Quebec moves towards a sustainable and innovative energy future. It is by joining forces and ideas that we will achieve a balanced transition, beneficial for all.
Daniel Harrison, President, Quebec Propane Association