Alberta’s new rebate program for energy-efficient renos crashes website
The program, which begins April 24, will stimulate demand for triple-glaze windows, tankless water heaters and enhanced insulation.
By Steve Payne
Starting April 28, Alberta’s home renovators will be getting a business boost from the province’s new energy-efficiency rebate.
Environment minister Shannon Phillips’ April 19 announcement of the deal, which will pay a maximum of 30 per cent of the costs of residential energy-efficient upgrades, created so much interest that program’s website temporarily crashed.
The program will stimulate consumer demand for such products as insulation, triple-glaze windows and tankless water heaters. Up to $3,500 in rebates are available for such upgrades, provided that the consumer uses a “registered” contractor (which will require an Alberta licence, liability insurance and Alberta worker’s compensation registration). Other elements of the program will be announced in the weeks ahead.
“It’s quite clear that Albertans are interested in energy-efficiency, and the proof is in the numbers,” Phillips said. “It puts money in the pockets of hardworking Albertans, and Albertans know that.” The province’s energy ministry says that “50 to 70” jobs are created for every $1-million that consumers spend on such energy upgrades.
Still, some conservative media outlets, such as the Calgary Sun, editorialized that there is no “free” money on offer here, since the $24-million rebate program is funded with carbon tax revenue. Along these lines, Brian Jean, leader of the province’s Wildrose party, said the program “is a desperate attempt by the NDP to buy back the votes they lost by imposing the carbon tax.”