R.I.P. EcoEnergy Retrofit
Feds end popular plan that gave grants for energy-saving renovations
Guest post by Blair Eveleigh, senior associate editor
So much for that, then. The ecoEnergy Retrofit program is now kaput. As of January 29, the federal Ministry of Natural Resources has closed the program to new registrants, after having reached 250,000 applications. The program was originally supposed to end on March 31. That means that if you were thinking about getting some refund money for making your cottage more energy efficient, but hadn’t signed up yet, you’ve missed the boat. If you are in the program already, keep in mind these important dates:
• March 31, 2012– Deadline to purchase and install eligible products and equipment, and to obtain a pre-retrofit evaluation from a licensed service organization
• June 30, 2012 – Deadline to obtain a post-retrofit evaluation and sign an application form for eligible retrofits completed by March 31, 2012
The decision is not a popular one. “We are shocked that the federal government is cutting back its investment in job-creating and energy saving retrofits at a time of global economic, environmental and energy uncertainty,” says Jeff Murdock of Building Insight Technologies, an energy audit company in Vancouver, in a press release. Of course, Murdock has a stake in the business of pre- and post-renovation energy audits, but he does have a point. The feds had promised $400 million for the program in the 2011 budget and will likely end up spending only about half that, and money spent on energy efficiency is money well spent. Pity the Harper Conservatives would rather spend tax dollars on more prisons and fighter jets and such.
Meanwhile, there are a couple of things to celebrate today: It’s World Wetlands Day and Groundhog Day. Wiarton Willie didn’t see his shadow, so expect an early spring. I guess that means we’re not having any winter at all?