Canadians pay a much lower rate for their energy than a lot of other industrialized countries. This raises some very important questions: Is it worth building Green in Canada? And why?
Some people advocate that building green in Canada is not feasible because of the relatively low energy prices. I would like to argue the opposite.
As we all know, our government has put all their eggs in the oil industry basket, and we also know that extracting tar sands is the biggest economical driver for Canada. However, this energy source is relatively very expensive due to the complexity of the process of extraction, delivery and refining. In this analysis, I am simply considering direct costs of extracting, delivering and refining, and excluding any indirect costs, such as pollution, and leakages.
If you look closely to the world’s current economical situation, and try to understand how it is affecting us, you will realize that we are not in a very favorable position. For the most part of the industrialized countries, lower oil prices mean better economy, as it directly helps to boost their manufacturing sector. However, for us Canadians, since our economy heavily depends on the extraction of the controversial tar sands, and our manufacturing sector is almost non-existent, we are stuck between two fires. On one hand, if oil prices go down, our economy drags, our dollar value drops, and our jobs may be at stake. On the other hand, if oil prices go up, our economy boosts, and our employment rate goes up, as well. Nevertheless, our energy prices also hike, making it unaffordable to spend on energy.
Therefore, owning a green building that consumes between 50% and 90% less energy than a conventional building can be your bullet proof shield to protect you against ever-changing energy prices. Although energy prices in Canada are still competitive when compared to our counterparts, buildings’ energy bills, for heating and cooling, account for the highest cost of all operating costs of a normal building, and these costs can be very variable and dependent on exterior circumstances that may come in much unexpected times. For that reason, wouldn’t you consider to invest in a type of building that will protect you from energy prices fluctuation caused by external uncertainties?