Montreal households greenest in Canada, thanks to hydropower

Households in Montreal produce the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of 17 Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada, thanks to the fact that hydropower supplies much of its household energy use. This is according to a study recently published in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

“The source of energy used matters more than we expected,” the study authors said.

The report says: “Relatively high natural gas prices in Montreal seem to induce the use of low carbon hydropower for heating.”

The second lowest city for GHG emissions in Canada was Vancouver, British Columbia. The highest emissions were in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively (both in Alberta), “due to their extreme weather, low density, and coal-based electricity supply.” In fact, the report indicates, “the Atlantic region, with a mix of refined petroleum products, coal and nuclear has a lower GHG intensity than Alberta, whereas Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, where generation is dominated by hydro, have the lowest GHG intensities.”

For purposes of this study, emissions were included from the consumption of gasoline, natural gas and electricity. “Higher density is associated with lower gasoline consumption in personal vehicles, cold weather is associated with higher energy consumption for heating, and higher income and family size are associated with overall greater energy use.”

The complete study is available here.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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