Ontario budget ignores labelling for homes and misses showing all Ontarians their role in fighting climate change
OTTAWA February 25, 2016 – While taking some steps to mitigate climate change, today’s Ontario budget ignored one of the most effective ways to cut carbon emissions – providing home energy disclosure labels at point of sale. While the province does intend to have an activist agenda to fight climate change it has missed the opportunity to show all Ontarians the direct role they play to cut emissions and combat climate change says Elizabeth McDonald, President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA).
Energy use labels for homes is a common practice in Europe and parts of the U.S. It gives homeowners and homebuyers information on how efficient, or non-efficient, a structure is in its energy use, allowing them to budget for potential costs or improvements. The evaluation tool that would underpin this program already exists – the EnerGuide Rating System for Homes and a newer version is being introduced by Natural Resources Canada over the next year. “If we’re going to successfully cut emissions we need social change involving all Ontarians. And one way to do that is by showing us how we use energy in our homes and workplace,” says McDonald. “That’s why CEEA recommends these labels so current and prospective homeowners could make informed decisions about how to improve their carbon footprint.”
CEEA does appreciate the climate change initiatives the Ontario government is taking towards its goal to create a culture of conservation. So far some of its initiatives include: $1.3 million to educate students on energy conservation; $100 million for residential energy retrofits; and, $750 million to support low-carbon infrastructure projects.
CEEA also believes in a culture of conservation and recognizes that citizen engagement is essential to achieving that goal. Education, transparency and information for all Ontarians about their own energy use and how it affects the environment and their pocketbook are the key to attaining that engagement.
The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) is the country’s leading independent advocate promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. CEEA works with the federal and provincial governments and stakeholders, to ensure energy efficiency is a priority for all sectors of the economy. By monitoring, examining and developing energy efficient public policy ideas, programs and standards, CEEA is an effective resource for policy makers, businesses, consumers, energy companies and environmental groups.
CEEA’s members include large international corporations, Canadian utilities and a wide variety of energy efficiency associations including the Canadian Construction Association, ElectroFed, HRAI and the Mechanical Contractors of Canada. Representing almost 25,000 like-minded industry members, CEEA is proud to advance a strong voice for energy efficiency.