A provincial Clothesline Act could be part of a clean energy future for B.C. after delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities passed a resolution Sept. 16 recommending the province take up the issue.
The Powell River resolution said the B.C. Clean Energy Act set provincial objectives to reduce BC Hydro’s expected increase in demand by 66 per cent through demand-side measures by 2020.
Powell River Coun. Rob Southcott said clothes dryers are one of the highest energy-consuming household appliances.
“This is a simple ask,” he said, noting Nova Scotia already has such legislation.
That 2010 act ensures “no law, by-law, covenant or agreement prevents, prohibits or unreasonably restricts the installation, placement or use of a clothesline outdoors at a single-family dwelling or on the ground floor of a multi-unit residential building.”
It’s that wording that the UBCM resolution pegged as an option for B.C.
“It’s a baby step,” Southcott said, explaining the intent is not to force people to use clotheslines or to allow lines to be stretched across streets.
He said it would deal with restrictions in bylaws or perhaps strata rules that prevent people using air to dry their clothes.
The vote, however, wasn't unanimous and some delegates at the annual convention in Whistler said the resolution was one they couldn’t prop up.
Invermere Coun. Gerry Taft called the resolution neither possible nor rational.
“I support clothes. I support clotheslines,” he said. “This is what the media is going to focus in on. It looks embarrassing.”