Bring back efficiency rebates, Ont. group urges

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The geothermal industry is making one last ditch effort to get the Ontario provincial government to reopen the discussion on the Green Ontario (GreenON) program.

The Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) launched an online petition July 6 asking the Ontario government to reintroduce a version of the program, which the new Conservative government under Premier Doug Ford cancelled on June 19.

“Hopefully we can open up a dialogue with the Conservative government around some of the economic benefits of the GreenOn program and cap-and-trade program that they are overlooking,” said OGA president Jim Bolger. He adds that the program can be reintroduced as a job-stimulus and job-creation program rather than an environmental protection program by the Ford government.

The GreenON program offered rebates up to $20,000 to install geothermal heat pumps, up to $4,500 to repair existing geothermal systems, and up to $5,800 to install air source heat pumps.

The petition is only one part of how Bolger is trying to work with the government. He sent a letter to Premier Ford and close to 30 MPP’s from across the province and is hoping to sit down with them to look at or re-evaluate the program.

“I think climate change should be something we are tackling in 2018. Windows and installations alone in four-and-a-half to six months since the introduction of this program has produced upwards of 30-40 million dollars each in terms of economic activity. Geothermal and air-source would be in the tune of three million dollars plus. When you translate that to tax revenue, jobs created and economic benefits, along with energy savings with the end user consumers, it’s beneficial.”

To support the petition or for more information please visit https://www.change.org/p/bring-back-the-greenon-energy-rebate-program.

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