Cause and Effect. The effect does not happen without the cause.

I am impressed by the uncanny ability to look at two separate council considerations and not understand how intertwined they are.

The considerations I refer to are “Increase in costs for water, sewage and garbage disposal” and the local bylaw provision for new homes to be Solar Hot Water ready.

The increase in costs for the services provided to us by the city are not stemming from run-away spending as some would have us believe. The costs of all these services are tied strictly to external factors far beyond the control of our city council, at least at first glance. The price of trucking away our garbage is not driven by wages or real estate on which to dump the refuse; the dominant price driver is the price of gas. The same is true for water delivery: In order to deliver water to our homes and water away from our homes, the water needs to be treated by electrically or gas fuelled machinery. It needs to be lubricated by oil based lubricants. The piping needs to be forged through energy intensive procedures which require more inputs in the form of gas, oil and electricity. Furthermore the same piping and machinery is shipped to us here by machines that use more gas.

Not surprisingly rising gas prices that are affecting our bottom line as residents of Kamloops are also affecting the companies and city departments that service our needs and wants.

Luckily we have a council that is doing better than our federal government in addressing the issues of climate change and rising world-wide demand for limited energy sources. At first glance our council has no ability to fight rising gas prices; they do have to ability to affect how Kamloops residents are using that energy.

When building a new house, preparing for Solar Hot Water costs only $500-$1000 depending upon the size of the dwelling. When retrofitting an old house that price can quadruple or more very easily, as the roof trusses need to be reinforced, new piping in the walls need to be installed and new equipment stored somewhere in the house. Even when retrofitting for Solar Hot Water, the system often pays for itself in less than five years, without calculating the rising cost of the services delivered by the city.

Incredibly it seems city council has a conscience and is anticipating the needs of our residents into the future and making provision for our comfort not just immediately but also in the years to come. Just as good government should.