Ont. opens carbon tax purse to fight climate change

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A new Ontario government program will use millions of dollars raised through carbon taxes to boost green technologies. On Aug.30 the government announced the launch of the Green Ontario Fund – or GreenON – with $377 million in proceeds from its “carbon market”. It “will deliver programs and rebates to help reduce energy costs in homes and businesses,” said Chris Ballard, Ontario minister of the environment and climate change.

This includes the new Green ON Installations program. It’s first initiative, also launched Aug. 30, invited homeowners to have a “Green Ontario Fund-trained technician visit and install a smart thermostat at no cost.” The technician will also “provide advice and tips as well as personalized suggestions for additional energy-saving upgrades.”

This doesn’t sit well with many in the industry. As reported elsewhere in this newsletter, HRAI chair Bruce Passmore (Emco HVAC), expressed concern that the government is spending enormous amounts of money on HVAC/R systems without consulting the industry. “They are spending cash today; let’s make sure it’s going to the right places,” he said at the group’s recent annual meeting, adding that the industry must have influence on how this money is being spent.

“Taking strong action on climate change means making it as easy as possible for people and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and work, while also saving money,” said Ballard.

Over the next three years, the Green Ontario Fund has pledged up to $1.2 billion to help businesses and industries adopt low-carbon technologies and up to $1.2 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.

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