The battle against the quickly unfolding effects of climate change has led governments to mobilize their greatest asset: its people. Citizens are being actively engaged in clean energy programs because after all, climate change mitigation is a collective effort.
Canada has always been one country to lead the charge on environmental sustainability. It’s no surprise that its government continues to creatively reinvent the wheel by offering tax credits and rebates to energy-efficient Canadians.
How does it work?
The Government of Canada established the Low Carbon Economy Fund, an essential part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The fund is an investment in climate change initiatives within the provinces and territories who signed onto the framework.
Since 2017, the provinces and federal government have worked together to determine which projects need funding. Tax credits and Rebate programs such as the Energy Savings Rebate Program in Ontario have emerged.
Incentives are provided based on the provincial or territorial governments spanning from electrical and gas utilities to water equipment and solar systems.
Clean energy incentives are offered in residential, commercial, and agricultural areas to capture a wide cross-section of Canadians. Below is a small sampling of some creative programs currently being offered.
Citizens can play a role in promoting clean energy through programs targeting their homes and even shopping habits. Each province finds innovative ways to raise awareness about clean energy and offer attractive incentives.
The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit is a personal tax credit implemented to help low-to-moderate income individuals with property taxes and energy retrofits is a critical component.
The internationally recognized ENERGY STAR brand has become the symbol of high-quality energy-efficient products. Tax credits and rebates are offered for the installation of ENERGY STAR products like doors, windows, clothing washers, and dryers as well as air source heat pumps.
Live Green Toronto’s cutting edge platform allows shoppers to save on eco-friendly products, by receiving discounts on highly anticipated events in Toronto.
Through its free mobile app, users can claim a deal after purchase, and a leaf to a personal tree within the app. Once persons collect 20 leaves, the City of Toronto will plant a tree on their behalf!
Farming businesses receive rebates on energy-efficient equipment and are engaged in clean energy opportunities.
The Efficiency program of Nova Scotia receives projects from farmers and guides them towards the best solutions in clean energy. Rebates are offered for lighting, refrigeration, and technologies like dairy equipment which can greatly reduce the cost of more energy-efficient upgrades.
Businesses play a significant role in high energy consumption and the various elements of energy use have been tailored to specific programs.
Business Energy Rebates, in Prince Edward Island, encourage investment in low energy products. These include LED lamps, lighting control systems, and small capacity heat pumps.
In Quebec, commercial properties can receive up to CAD$19,500 in financial assistance to purchase clean energy condensing water heaters and condensing storage water heaters.
In Alberta, the Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program targets schools and community-related organizations.
Electric vehicles have been proven to boost climate resilience and have an added benefit of low maintenance costs. Funding is allocated to a range of vehicles including low-speed electric vehicles.
Organizations dedicated to going green are also considered through outreach projects as seen with the Community Outreach Program of New Brunswick. This allows clients of the organizations to save money when provided with energy kits. The kits are packed with LED light bulbs, water-efficient showerheads, faucet aerators, and water heater pipe wraps. Training is also provided on correct product use.
These inventive programs offered in Canada have made the country a champion in clean energy efficiency.