3-Step Plan to Sustain ecoENERGY Home Energy Audit Activities

Sustaining home energy auditing activities makes sense; this is why the US and the UK have both made significant commitments to their own National programs to sustain home energy audit/retrofit/financing programs.

At the same time that our counterparts in the developing world are taking home energy reductions seriously, the Canadian Government took a step backward by not having a long-term solution in place before cancelling the ecoENERGY  Retrofit – Houses program on March 31, 2011.

The Federal budget tabled before the recent May election included a one-year extension of the ecoENERGY program. However this is not the long-term solution we need to drive an industry that provides many benefits:

Homes in France must post the energy rating with the listings.

  • reduction in home heating and cooling costs,
  • thousands of jobs,
  • $10 of stimulus for every $1 invested,
  • significant tax revenue from retrofits, and
  • measurable benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.

Energy audit clients of Green Venture, a founding member of Green Communities Canada, on average reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 21% and reduce their household greenhouse gas emissions by over 3 tonnes (3,000 kilograms) per year. Considering the large number of families that participated in this program, these benefits really add up.

Green Venture is a member of the Save ecoENERGY Coalition who feel it is essential to create a long-term solution to sustain the residential energy audit industry without the need for ongoing federal home retrofit grants.

The coalition represents over 1,600 manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, home renovation contractors and energy audit businesses across Canada.

A letter from the Save ecoENERGY Colalition sent recently to the Prime Minister and other leaders outlines the benefits of the ecoENERGY program and a three-step plan to sustain it by implementing it over the next four years:

Close up: Home energy rating on listings in France.

Close up: Home energy rating on a house listing in France.

Step 1: Four-year renewal of federal ecoENERGY Home Retrofit program

Step 2: Transition to new EnerGuide rating system (ERS)

Step 3: ERS labeling of new and existing homes at time-of-sale

Green Venture agrees with other coalition members that this plan builds on three well-supported strategies and can realise the goal to enable the marketplace to sustain ecoENERGY activity, without the need for ongoing federal grants, within four years.

The Federal govenment’s proposed one-year extension of the ecoENERGY progam does not allow enough time to complete work on steps 2 and 3, above. Therefore, the Save ecoENERGY Colalition strongly recommends the renewal of ecoENERGY for a four-year interim period.

As the coalition’s letter stated: “This will provide the time and predictable conditions necessary to complete the three-step plan, thereby enabling the marketplace to sustain ecoENERGY activity without the need for any further federal home retrofit grants.”

Please let your leaders know if you feel the three step plan is a practical and measured approach to sustain this important sector that provides so many benefits to Canadian families and the environment. Sample letters can be found at www.saveecoenergy.ca.

For more information on this topic, please visit www.saveecoenergy.ca.

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