Green Communities Canada urges federal vision, leadership
Thursday, April 1st 2010 12:15:53pm
Don't pull the plug on home energy progress
1 April 2010 - Cancelling Canada's ecoENERGY home retrofit program is a serious mistake, says Green Communities Canada, a national leader in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
"Existing participants can still get retrofit incentives for the time being. But without new entrants [blocked by an announcement on Wednesday] ecoENERGY is dying a slow death," said Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada.
Countries like the U.S. and the U.K. are aggressively ramping up energy efficiency, which creates green jobs, improves competitiveness, and generates huge bill savings as well as major environmental benefits.
"Canada needs to get with the program," Maynes said. "Instead of turning its back on energy efficiency, Ottawa should demonstrate vision and leadership. Canada needs a bold commitment to bring Canada's inefficient housing stock into the 21st Century."
Green Communities Canada was the first to deliver Canada's national home energy efficiency program, starting in 1998, and later designed and piloted the retrofit incentive that has stimulated hundreds of millions of dollars in energy savings.
"Energy efficiency saves more money than it costs: it makes us richer as well as greener," Maynes said.
The United Kingdom recently committed to retrofit all homes by 2030, with firm interim targets for the next 5-10 years. "That's the kind of leadership we need in Canada," Maynes said. To date, less than ten per cent of Canadian housing has benefited from the EnerGuide and ecoENERGY incentive programs.
Federal officials issued a surprise announcement on Wednesday that no new participants would be permitted to enter the ecoENERGY program. "This is shoddy treatment - for thousands of Canadians working in the energy-saving industry, and for provincial and utility partners," Maynes said. "It's a real setback."
Green Communities Canada calls on the federal government to sit down with interested parties to forge an ambitious plan for an eco-efficient future.
Clifford Maynes, 705 745 7479 x 118, cmaynes[at]greencommunitiescanada.org.
Green Communities Canada, founded in 1995, is a national association of non-profit organizations that deliver innovative environmental programs and services. See www.savehomeenergy.ca