‘Choose electric over gasoline’ for yard equipment, urges Oakville campaign

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Published June 25, 2024 at 8:45 pm

Ontario, Oakville, Council, town, ban, gas-powered, equipment, electric, awareness campaign
The Town of Oakville is running a campaign encouraging residents and business owners to choose electric over gasoline when it comes to yard equipment and tools.

Oakville said no to a ban on gas power tools, but the town is helping contractors and residents keep electric “top of mind.”

The town is running a current awareness campaign encouraging the choice of electric over gasoline when it comes to purchasing new yard equipment.

“Electric yard tools offer cleaner operation, eliminates the smell of gas, reduces your caron footprint and saves you money. Choose wisely, choose electric,” said the message Tuesday (June 25) on the social media platform X.

Earlier this year, Town Council had been considering a report looking into a phased-out approach to reduce the use of gas-powered equipment, including, but not limited to leaf blowers, trimmers, pole saws and lawnmowers.

A report by Town staff found there was currently an “insufficient basis” to ban gas-powered equipment and make the move to electric for several reasons, among them excessive costs and the addition of staff that would be required.

Replacing the current outdoor maintenance equipment, valued at $1 million, from gas-powered to electrical would cost the Parks and Open Space department $2 million. Limitations related to battery-charge life and changing infrastructure would also have an impact on maintaining service levels.

The report also found there could also be issues with finding enough electrical equipment for commercial use, while enforcing the ban could prove challenging and would require additional staff and costs.

As well, getting rid of all of the gas-powered equipment to landfill could have its own negative environmental impact since only a portion of it is recyclable.

The awareness campaign points to a town link on its website promoting the move to electric.

“Every day (there are) actions you can take as a resident or business owner to reduce your carbon footprint and address climate change,” said the town on its website.

The link points to rebates and grants, listing the home energy retrofits that can be done and the OakvilleReady Community Climate Action Grant that offers up to $2,000 for projects that reduce energy and greenhouse emissions.

The current electric awareness campaign will run annually for six months with key messages promoted at town facilities, on the town’s website and social media.

As well, 60,000 homes in Oakville will receive campaign messaging with their tax bill.

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