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Green Transport - Green Taxes

We’re brewing something very interesting in the BCSEA - and it feels as if we have discovered buried treasure.

The insight started soon after the election, when the government announced that BC would be moving to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). When we looked at what was being proposed, we saw that in the changeover, all the PST tax-breaks for things such as bicycles, solar panels and home insulation would disappear, but the long-standing tax-breaks for transport and heating fuels would remain.

SolarBC: A Hot Deal!

Roughly 30% of the energy used in most BC homes goes to heating water. Installing a solar hot water system can provide up to half that energy, and reduce a household's annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to a tonne; saving the homeowner $300 per year in energy costs.

That's why BCSEA's SolarBC project is pulling out the stops to get more British Columbians to install solar hot water systems.

SolarBC Incentives Double Up

SolarBC is happy to announce that incentives for solar hot water will double during February and March, from $1,000 to $2,000. This investment will support the installation of domestic solar water heating systems for the first 200 homes over the next 2-months. So, if you have been wondering about installing solar hot water but haven’t yet taken the plunge, now might be a smart time to do so.

Liz Kelly, from SolarBC did exactly that last week by installing solar hot water on her own home on the Sunshine Coast. "I just had to walk the talk," said Liz, "I could hardly live on the Coast and not take advantage of 2,400 of free sunshine we get every year. Our solar hot water system was installed in just a day and a half by Terratek, one of the SolarBC registered contractors, and comes with a neat little monitor that we’ve put up in the kitchen to tell us exactly how much money we’re saving."

Green Energy Advisory Task Force Submission

Green energy is a very hot topic in BC right now, especially for run-of-river power, and opinions range right across the spectrum, from the gung-ho: “This makes complete sense, and is an essential tool to help us tackle climate change”; to the outraged: “This is a complete scam, designed only to make private corporations rich and bankrupt BC Hydro.”

In December, the BCSEA sent a 25-page submission to the government’s Green Energy Advisory Task Force containing 61 recommendations, plus a review of green power pricing programs around the world. You can read our full submission here.

Green-Collar Jobs: Defined and Explained

From Sightline Institute

Green-collar jobs present a 3-for-1 opportunity for the Northwest: economic stability, reductions in climate-warming pollution, and an escape from dependence on fossil fuels. In short, investing in clean energy creates local jobs at home and ensures our money stays in our communities.

Sightline's research aims to bring clarity and guidance for Northwest decision makers with innovative and comprehensive solutions for growing a green-collar workforce in our region. On this page you'll find Sightline's latest green jobs analyses and resources. Have questions? Contact Nate Kommers at Sightline Institute.