BC Electrification by 2030. How would affect your home?

Building electrifications by 2030! How can we achieve that?

Several companies and local municipalities are combining forces to electrify buildings in BC by 2030. Clean BC (a provincial government organization), BC Hydro, B2E are a few big names committing.

With this news, all new buildings and existing ones should switch from fossil fuel heat sources to electricity. Meanwhile, all new buildings will have to follow higher building standards that require less energy for heating and cooling as well as to use only electricity as their energy source. So, developers are required to get ahead of the curve by making changes now.

Severe environmental impact in our province!

We are experiencing climate change in BC in the summer with the heat waves and the colder season with the atmospheric river-type rainfalls. This trend will not stop soon, and it might worsen, so it is crucial to prepare. Reducing the carbon footprint might lessen the severity of the storms. 

This action will include removing as many internal combustion engines on the road as possible and replacing them with electric vehicles.

This sounds like a solid plan and good for our society in general, but how will they do it?

Photo by myenergi on Unsplash

Governments are taking action!

The good news is that BC Hydro is offering up to $10K grants to homeowners who make their homes energy-efficient (check BC Hydro rebates for the home grant).

The organizations mentioned above are proposing the use of an electric heat source heat pump that can generate heat and cool simultaneously. It sounds incredible, right? You will remove your natural gas furnace and install a smaller electric unit inside your mechanical room and an external compressor in your yard. You will have heat during the cold seasons and cool air during the hot season. It is practical and useful. But it costs over $15k to install one in each home.

This is the best-case scenario and could reduce our carbon footprint and I see across the board suggested by the governments so far. What I see as trouble down the road is the following: (applies for single-family homes):

  • The heat pump compressors units (external unit) which are installed in the yard are noisy and imagine every single home has one in their yard, and they work simultaneously; what would be the noise level they create! Everyone whose neighbour installed one can testify that the noise of only one unit can be annoying. What would happen if all the houses in the block installed these units? We solved one issue but created another one.
heat pump
  • The external units take space, and most of the time, people must install them on the side yard, so it is not visible nor gets damaged by foot traffic. The side yards are primarily used for foot traffic to access the backyard from the street. Installing the unit in the side yard will reduce the yard’s width. In some cases, minimum side yard widths are required for firefighters’ access, so installing this unit will not be available for some homeowners.
  • We must install an electric vehicle charging station in our house to charge our electrical vehicle, at the same time installing an electric heat pump will add more load to the grid. BC Hydro mentioned that they don’t have any concerns about added load to the grid for the next ten years as they have enough power to supply, and they leave the problem to solve after the decade has passed by the next generation.
  • BC Hydro charges its subscribers on the steps billing system, and if customers use over 1,350 kWh, they will be charged $12.75 / kWh. That’s why many subscribers are afraid of using the electric source heating system as the cost goes up dramatically. Including myself, after charging my EV at home, my electric bill jumped by over $70/month and expecting more.

As a home designer, I tried to convince my clients to go all electric and avoid using fossil fuel in homes to reduce our carbon footprint within the last 10 years or so. Still, I face this obstacle with every client – natural gas is cheaper, and electricity is too expensive. So, they don’t want to make the switch to electricity because of the cost associated with it.

After talking to BC Hydro, they mentioned they know about the issue and are thinking about it. So, how can BC Hydro and the BC government expect the consumers to make the move when they don’t support them nor remove the obstacles.

I attended many webinars regarding these new initiatives the government is taking. I noticed how specific they are when offering heat pumps as the best option. I agree with the tremendous benefits of this system can offer. However, I don’t think that it is the government’s job to lead/push towards a specific system over any other solutions.

I’ve seen some builders/homeowners go fully electric in a much more efficient way than installing a heat pump system. Instead, they installed electric, solar panels on their roof to produce electricity for the entire home. They installed individual units for heating and cooling. (This system requires an upgrade to HRV system as well)

When I presented this idea in the meetings, they dismissed it as it seemed not viable. This system is at work in many other parts of the world, including areas similar to the BC climate as well as colder claimants.

It is less dependent on the grid, clean energy and requires minimum effort to transfer power from the source to the consumer.

The public needs bolder and stronger support!

BC Hydro net metering system can help homeowners use the grid as their backup when not generating the power. At the same time, generating electricity helps the grid when the system needs more electricity when commercial consumption is higher during the day. Most importantly, we won’t need to rely on building more dams to generate electricity for the next generations.

BC Hydro and the government are offering millions of dollars toward educating and switching to heat pumps. Instead, they could facilitate the distribution and installation of solar panels to beautify them and make them more accessible for consumers.

I was thinking of installing a system for my own house. Still, after reviewing the supply and installation cost, I put a pause on it for the time being. It is absolutely in my future plan to install a solar system in my house and encourage my clients to make similar changes to make a greener and cleaner BC for all of us. I’m waiting for the government and other organizations, including BC Hydro, to be more diversified and open to other ideas and options rather than being single-minded.

solar panel vancouver
Photo by Jamie Davies on Unsplash

We are all working toward a better community. We can do it by opening the floor for dialogue and listening to all the ideas on the table.


Contact us if you need to know more about how can you make a difference and make your home energy effiectint.

How Storage Space Can Improve Your Lifestyle Quality

Decluttering and organizing our storage space helps more than just our mental health. It also makes the home safer by decreasing the chance of injuries and falls. The older you become, the more critical it turns. 

When you have a clean home and organized kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, you stimulate your brain in a healthier, more free manner. Your eyes roam undisrupted, which helps you to focus. Consequently, you enjoy your life more.

Getting rid of the excess things can be stressful, but having them all around is worse. A middle solution? Upgrade your storage space and introduce some smart storage solutions. It will reward you with an opportunity for a fresh start.

We All Need More Storage Space As Time Goes By

There’s a vast number of reasons why we have clutter. Impulse shopping, emotional emptiness, collected memories… “I might need it,” “Soon the things will change,” “I will lose weight and wear it again” – we all know the same all song.  

Since the pandemic started and staying at home became the part of “new normal,” the chances are that your living space:

  1. Became more cluttered than ever
  2. Turned to a constant source of stress over things that you might not have been noticing before 

Now the times are changing, and life is gradually going back to “old normal.” Perhaps it’s the best moment to deal with everything that has been standing in your way for months and months? Making a fresh start is beneficial, and not to mention that it feels so good. 

coquitlam architecture
Coquitlam architecture

Psychological Effects of Clutter

Stress and More Stress

The most common psychological effect of clutter is stress—no need to say how it affects our health. The constant hassle of dealing with the mess and lack of organization can rocket your cortisol levels sky-high. Consequently, it provokes structural changes in our brain, inducing long-term sensitivity to stress.

Low Self-Esteem 

An organized home is a sign of an organized mind. Conversely, cluttered environments send a message of inadequacy, incapability to keep things under control – there’s a reason why cluttered homes are commonly linked to depression. And then there is another price: a messy house can cost you social life in more than one way. 

We get a lot of energy from our environment and the impulses it creates in our brains. It’s impossible to properly relax in a chaotic atmosphere. Even if you feel like it happens, your brain knows the difference. In the same way the sterile room can feel uneasy and awake the sensation of emptiness, a messy place will make you feel tired sooner than later. Finally, you will not have enough motivation to do the things you want, in return feeling lazy and less worthy. 

If you want to produce something new or move yourself to the next level in some area of your life, dealing with organization and storage is the ideal base. As the first step, ensure that no excess clutter will stand in the way of a change that you want to experience.

Focus and Productivity Issues

Clutter is tremendously distracting. Instead of focusing on one thing, it keeps your brain in a constant multitasking mode. Now, why is that bad? First, it’s very tiring. Secondly, it prevents you from finishing one big thing by scattering your mind and body over a dozen of tiny ones. And finally, you will give up easier due to feeling overwhelmed. 

Storage space in organized bathroom
Surrey interior designer

How Remodeling Your House to Add Storage Space Helps Keeping the Clutter Away

Smart Storage In Unused Spaces

Adding storage in dead-ends, empty corners, and under the stairs is a great idea. Hidden cabinets, built-in shelving, and pull-out drawers hide the world of new possibilities. Built-in shelves can work well both functionally and aesthetically in many places. Think about having them around doors, a TV area, or at the sides of a fireplace. If you want to create a room divider but are not ready to commit (let’s say you need it for a temporary home office), shelves are a brilliant idea. Make it a bookcase, or fill them up with decorative boxes to get even more storage options. 

Another great, multifunctional solution is a bespoke bench. These handy items can fit into any corner or under a window, providing hidden storage AND an extra sitting place. Consider a custom-sized bench at your foyer, and have a comfortable space to put your shoes on and store them after use. 

Utility Rooms

A laundry room can become a hobby room and a mudroom. Cover the walls with ceiling-high cabinets and shelves for storing various supplies, as well as shoes, coats, umbrellas, bags, and much more. A corner for showering your pet after a walk would also fit there perfectly. 

Some creative ideas might be of use if you don’t want to invest in a full remodeling. Are there any cabinets and closets that you don’t really like or use much? Repurpose them in a mudroom. You won’t have to look at them all day, and they will save you the cost of buying new stuff. An old ladder is perfect for doubling as a shelf. Even better, hang them high, horizontally oriented, and you will get a new, chic place for drying washed clothes. 

Kitchen Storage Space

Storage space in the kitchen

If you’re thinking about kitchen renovation, consider new floor-to-ceiling cabinets with a variety of storage options. Pull-out drawers of different depths, sliding baskets, dedicated, convenient spots for cookware, and more – every thoughtful detail will enhance your cooking experience and out more pleasure in the process. The best part? You can use tall, narrow spaces to install high cabinets with shelving for small items that often drag all around, such as spice jars, cans, and backup supplies. 

Removing walls and opting for an open space living area (including kitchen) will also help you declutter and become better organized. First, it will improve your habits. Second, in place of a wall, you will have a kitchen island with abundant storage options, customized to fit your needs. You can even sneak in a wine bar or something similar.

If your floor space is limited, consider a corner dining place with built-in benches that can, again, double as hidden storage for kitchen towels, table cloths, and many more. Alternatively, you can free up some counter space by using that corner for a small floor-to-ceiling pantry with drywall and shelving, instead of a dining area. 

Bathroom Decluttering 

A few lucky ones enjoy unlimited floor space in a bathroom. For the rest, it takes a bit of creativity and a great designer to perform magic. Start by thinking vertical instead of horizontal – floor space might be scarce, but there is so much more of it all over your walls. Instead of freestanding cabinets, opt for recessed ones. Wall-mounted shelves and cupboards offer a plethora of bathroom storage possibilities. Hung within reach, they allow effortless access to all kinds of items, from hairbrushes to towels and bulky bottles. 

Replacing the standard bathtub with a walk-in shower is one of the best moves you can make when remodeling your bathroom. It saves floor space, but there is much more. Transparent glass dividers make the room look and feel more spacious. The effect is even stronger if you use the same floor and wall tiles all over. Also, accessibility is essential in some cases, like when you’re remodeling to adapt the house for aging-in-place. A walk-in shower is a breeze to use. 

Bedroom Storage Solutions

Master Bedroom
North Vancouver home design

Even if you are not the type who leaves clothes everywhere – in a bedroom, there is always something that could be tucked away. Moreover, out of all rooms in the house, the bedroom is where you really shouldn’t have any visible excess if you aim for a healthier life. Even when you sleep, a part of your brain works. That means a part of you is always aware of the surrounding scene at all times. Furthermore, that also means anything can affect it enough to disturb your sleeping sequence. 

If you have enough floor space to use, think about hidden storage behind the bed, all over the wall. Better said, create a new, “fake” wall in front of the existing one. It will help to keep the room looking clear and free, while holding a ton of hidden compartments at the same time. Alternatively, think of a gallery bed. Lift it up to create more visual dynamics in the interior, and use the space below to slide in some large drawers. 

Doors and Traffic Areas

Being limited in floor space means using all you can to make storage. That also means you may be wasting some precious areas on conventional solutions. A standard door might be limiting your possibilities with the way it moves. Have you thought about switching them for a sliding model? Yes, it requires some wall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t place a cabinet in front.  

Organized Storage Space, Organized Mind

Once you have a place for everything and everything in its place, you will probably notice several things at the same time. Dopamine will replace cortisol. You will feel accomplished and ready for more. Moreover, your focus will noticeably improve, as well as the productivity. One thing will boost another and, before you know it, you will be leading a healthier and happier life. 

If you are ready for the next step but need more professional guidance in order to make the most of what you got, contact us and schedule a consultation. We will offer customized solutions, tailored personally for you, your home, and your lifestyle.

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