Victoria, BC – The BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) is calling on the government to speedily bring forward plans to continue and augment the highly successful LiveSmart BC's Efficiency Incentive Program. The home retrofit and energy efficiency rebate and incentives program reached its three-year target (40,000 homes) and budget ($62M) in just 15 months of implementation, according to a government statement on Friday.
"That LiveSmart BC met its initial targets early should signal its extension, not its demise," said BCSEA president Guy Dauncey. " British Columbians want to do their part to fight climate change. Strong government leadership to still needed to achieve both job creation and carbon reduction goals."
LiveSmart BC was created to support the province's legislated commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 level by 2020, a target that is widely seen as both ambitious and necessary.
"This program should be expanded to a general upgrade of BC's building stock," said Tom Hackney, BCSEA vice-president for Policy. "That will help meet our emission reduction goals while providing additional energy security in the face of volatile and rising fuel prices. We realize money is tight in these economic conditions, but this is also a critical time to stimulate the parts of the provincial economy that contribute to a greener future."
The strength of the Efficiency Incentive Program was streamlined access to home efficiency grants for the homeowner, as the program was coordinated to take advantage of provincial, federal and utility-based energy efficiency rebates and incentives. It was a key part of the province's Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy and it is now unclear how the province will institute further energy efficiency upgrades to the existing building stock. Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for approximately 12% of BC's greenhouse gas emissions.
"LiveSmart BC's only fault is its wild success, effectively motivating British Columbians to retrofit their homes and creating jobs to do those retrofits," said Dauncey. "We hope to see funding for this program in the upcoming budget and even more in the 2010 budget."
The BC Sustainable Energy Association (www.bcsea.org) is a non-profit society that envisions a future in which all of BC's energy needs are met with clean, efficient, renewable energies. We actively promote sustainable energy in BC through practical projects, education and policy development.
For more information, contact:
Tom Hackney 250-381-4463
Guy Dauncey 250-881-1304