Vancouver City Council in Canada is mulling a move to encourage heating plants that serve multiple buildings to switch from natural gas to low-carbon fuels such as ground heat.

By creating a neighbourhood energy strategy, the city hopes to encourage health centres such as those at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children and Women’s Hospital and private utility Central Heat Distribution to convert to heating systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Possibilities also include using energy from sewage, garbage and wood waste.

The strategy is meant to help the city reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. Neighbourhood energy would contribute about a tenth of that reduction, or about 120,000 tonnes.

City council will consider the energy plan Wednesday.

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