GOVERNMENT programs can do much to increase energy efficiency and lower costs

GOVERNMENT programs can do much to increase energy efficiency and lower costs

Time to use energy more efficiently

There are programs governments can implement to increase efficiency and decrease emissions in our society, says Terrace B.C. writer.

Dear Sir:

Right now a lot of people are concerned about their cost for electricity and natural gas.

If one would look at BC Hydro rates between 2009 and 2016 they would notice increases of 40 per cent in the Step 1 category use and 50 per cent in Step 2.

Natural gas increases between 2009 and 2016  were 15 per cent for the daily and 40 per cent for the rate for gas and other charges.

I do not think our wages have increased by that much.

Meanwhile the current provincial government receives $500 million per year in transfers from BC Hydro and the carbon tax adds over $1 billion for the government to use.

When the carbon tax was introduced it is revenue neutral, yes, most of the funds come from you and me.

In 2008, about three-quarters of the funds went back to people in tax reductions and rebates, but currently about three-quarters of these funds go to tax reductions, credits, benefits to businesses and only about 25 per cent comes back to people.

A very small amount, from the carbon tax, goes to programs that actually reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuels.

Now if BC Hydro and the provincial and federal governments would bring some of the energy efficiency, renewable energy subsidies and programs back, these would have multiple benefits.

These program would benefit homeowners all over the provinces and Canada by becoming more energy efficient, reducing the cost for heating and cooling and making homes more resilient to disasters.

People would become more independent, mostly local jobs would be created, emissions would be reduced and fossil fuel use would be reduced, helping keep our governments’ commitments to energy reductions and carbon reductions all at  the same time.

Currently there is a program, for businesses only that lets them install renewable energy systems and the cost can be deducted at 50 per cent per year against income taxes to be paid.

That program could be made available for homeowners as well.

Another program, for local governments only, the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) subscribed to by over 95 per cent of local governments has tax rebates for those governments from the carbon tax for becoming more energy efficient. Again that is not available for you and me.

Do the provincial and federal governments not want to create mostly local, sustainable  jobs, while increasing GDP, lowering taxes, lowering carbon emissions, reducing fossil fuel use, while at the same time diversifying our economies and making our whole system  more resilient?

Isn’t it about time that our governments look after all their citizens, mostly you and me, instead of just their large  donors – mostly businesses?

And make those businesses pay their taxes in Canada and not offshore like a lot of businesses have been doing. Is that not taking from the poor and giving to the rich, sort of a reverse Robin Hood?

Martin Holzbauer,

Terrace, B.C.

 

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