HEC Montréal’s Chair in Energy Sector Management, in collaboration with Transition Énergétique Québec, has published its 6th annual report on the most recent data from the energy sector.
The building sector is one of the largest consumers of energy in Québec, representing nearly one third of the province’s overall energy consumption. The commercial and institutional building sector accounts for 11% of the overall energy consumption, with 47% being electricity-based and 43% natural gas-based. Most of the energy consumed in this sector is for heating, which makes up more than half of energy needs (53%), followed by auxiliary equipment (17%) and lighting (14%).
Office buildings are the primary energy-consuming commercial and institutional sub-sector (35%), followed by the health and social assistance sub-sector, the retail sectors, educational services, housing and food services, and other services such as wholesale distribution, transportation and warehousing. While housing and food services, health and social assistance services, and communication services make up a small percentage of overall energy consumption in the commercial and institutional building sector, they are the most energy-intensive per unit area.
Between 1990 and 2017, energy intensity saw a slight improvement of 2.8%. In parallel, energy demand increased along with a 45% increase in total floor area over the same period. The commercial and institutional building sector is responsible for 5% of the total losses in Québec’s energy system and 6.13% of GHG emissions (2017).
The report highlighted that the transportation sector is responsible for the bulk of GHG emissions with a percentage of 44% of global emissions, this sector accounting for 30% (or 534 PJ) of global energy consumption. 97% of this energy comes from petroleum products, representing 72% of the total consumption of petroleum products used for energy purposes in the province. Since 2012, the number of trucks sold has increased year over year and, in 2015, truck sales systematically surpassed car sales. Over the same period, electric vehicle sales have increased significantly. However, the number of electric vehicles on the road remains small in comparison to other types of vehicles. These trends are a significant barrier to achieving energy policy objectives and GHG emission reduction targets.