It’s always sad to watch doors being slammed shut on programs that help accelerate a brighter, more sustainable future. Suspending the EcoEnergy Retrofit program is one case in point. Buried at the bottom of a press release issued on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, the government’s announcement still reverberated loud and clear. No more funding for homeowners trying to get ahead of the energy productivity curve by upgrading their homes with better insulation and higher efficiency furnaces.
To be sure, ending the residential grant program won’t mean that retrofits in that sector cease. They just won’t go forward as quickly as they might otherwise have done. However, they constitute only one part of the overall EcoEnergy program; altogether it comprises something like 15 components, including grants, mentoring and training sessions for the industrial and commercial / institutional sectors as well as for homes. It would appear from Natural Resource Canada’s departmental plan that all the grant components are slated for termination.
Leading thinkers in the field of energy policy have long advocated aggressive action to increase energy productivity in the way we deploy our resources. Walt Patterson of the UK’s Chatham House, e.g., is of the firm view that “The first strand in reducing our dependence on fuel ought to be upgrading existing buildings and other user-technology – the top priority for real energy policy around the world.” Limited in its scope though it was, Canada’s EcoEnergy Retrofit program was doing just that, as a recent evaluation of the program concluded. Backing out of these activities means that the federal government has once again committed itself to mediocrity. One can only shake one’s head in mournful regret for what might have been – namely, an enlightened, multifaceted and proactive commitment to a truly sustainable clean energy future.
Posted On Feb 01 12:04PM
Canadian buisness and banks have not yet reveived the press release. Here is a link to Scotiabanks Ecoliving magazine, that promotes eco home improvements (obviously to their fiscal benefit, but I digress). The page has a full section on rebates available to citizens, both provincially and federally. Guess many people will be updating their sites in the upcoming weeks. Too bad...