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April 1, 2010
For immediate release

Federal Government Cuts Energy Audits for Homeowners

Environment, Energy & Forestry

At a time when Canadians are expecting leadership on environmental issues, the federal government is cutting the program that funds energy audits for homeowners, said Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Richard Brown.

“The Federal Government is making a huge mistake cancelling the program that provides incentives for Canadians to reduce their energy consumption by making their homes more energy efficient,” said Minister Brown. “This program offers advice on low-cost measures like weatherstripping, furnace maintenance, and installing programmable thermostats, steps homeowners can take to reduce their energy costs.”

The PEI Office of Energy Efficiency received word yesterday that the ecoEnergy Retrofit program is ending a year earlier than planned.

Brown said that’s disappointing because the program was very popular on PEI.

“More than 4,000 energy audits were carried out on Island homes since the program began two years ago,” said Brown. “The average homeowner received $2,500 in federal and provincial incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. That’s an important program that shouldn’t be cut.”

With rising energy costs and concern about climate change, the federal government should be increasing rather than cutting incentives to help homeowners reduce their energy consumption and energy costs, said Minister Brown.

The Minister said homeowners who took advantage of the energy audit program saw a substantial reduction in their energy costs.

“The average homeowner reduced their yearly energy costs by $1,200,” said Brown. “That’s a very impressive return on investment.”

Minister Brown said this program provided real stimulus spending in the PEI economy.

“We estimate that close to $20 million in home renovations were carried out over the past two years,” said Brown. “This program provided a significant economic boost for the home renovation industry and cutting it will negatively impact tradespeople on PEI.”

Brown said the programs offered by the Office of Energy Efficiency were designed to follow the ecoEnergy Retrofit program in order to leverage the federal grants available and that cancelling this program reduces the incentive for homeowners to reduce their energy consumption.

The provincial programs will continue without the added federal incentive.

Minister Brown has sent a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada expressing concern about the cuts and requesting that the program be reinstated.

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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