Politicians promise energy efficiency incentives

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The Canadian federal election is scheduled for October 21, 2019. Political leaders have released their climate action plans many of which will benefit the HVAC/R industry.

The federal election on Oct. 21 is fast approaching with less than two weeks until ballots are cast and counted. Canada’s political parties have released their policies in the various categories: healthcare, climate change, taxes, agriculture, and childcare, to name a few. According to an Ipsos poll released Oct. 3, health care remains Canadians’ top concern (37 per cent), with climate change coming hot in second (30 per cent). A part of that includes incentive programs to encourage the installation of more efficient HVAC/R equipment, reports the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI).

While the election is too close to call, what can be expected is a commitment to programs that support the industry in its role to help Canadian home and building owners be more energy-efficient and lower their carbon dioxide emissions, explains HRAI.

The Liberals, Conservatives and NDP have all made commitments to consult with HRAI on program design if elected. Here are the present promises made by the political parties in relation to the HVAC/R industry:

Liberals:

  • Cut taxes in half for clean technology businesses, with small businesses being able to enjoy a reduced 4.5 per cent rate and larger companies paying a 7.5 per cent rate. Eligible sectors include manufacturing related to renewable energy, production of renewable fuels, zero-emissions vehicles and batteries for vehicles, carbon capture and removal technology and electric vehicle charging systems;
  • Make all federal buildings run on clean electricity by 2022;
  • Move to net-zero emissions in buildings by 2050;
  • Interest-free loans for Canadians of up to $40,000 to retrofit their homes;
  • Create a net-zero homes grant of up to $5,000 for Canadians who buy new homes that are certified as zero-emissions; and
  • Invest $100 million in skills training to ensure there are enough qualified workers to handle the energy audits, retrofits and net-zero home construction.

Conservatives:

  • Create a 20 per cent refundable income tax credit for green improvements to homes, for a maximum benefit of $3,800 per household.

NDP:

  • Investments for their climate plan would be over $15 billion in their first mandate, including $2.5 billion to support clean energy jobs and energy efficiency retrofits for buildings and homes;
  • Create 300,000 jobs in clean energy in the next four years;
  • All federal buildings on renewable energy and net carbon neutral by 2030;
  • Make every new building in Canada after 2030 “net-zero energy ready” through amendments to the National Building Code;
  • Commitments to training and re-training of skilled workers (but no spending specifics);
  • Investing to improve apprenticeship rates so women, racialized Canadians, indigenous peoples and other groups can more easily choose careers in the trades; and
  • Low-interest repayable loans to homeowners for upgrades like “insulation, windows, heat pumps and other renewable technologies” (no details on loan amounts or terms).

HRAI will distribute a questionnaire to the political parties to get their various positions on issues that continue to impact the industry and will report those answers once received.

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