9.12.2011

Schreiner announces Green Building Program to create 20,000 good local jobs and reduce energy bills

Guelph, Ontario – Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced the Green Party’s plan for a Green Building Program today. A Green Building program will reduce energy bills and create thousands of jobs in the construction and trades sector in communities across the province.

“Only the Green Party will deliver sensible, long-term solutions that create jobs and save us money by saving energy,” said Schreiner. “We will not borrow money, like the old parties, to offer short term subsidies that mostly benefit the biggest energy users.”

The Green Building plan would provide $1.6 B in refundable tax credits for homeowners, tenants and businesses over 4 years to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits.

“When we decrease our consumption we provide real relief to rising energy costs for all Ontarians,” added energy entrepreneur and Guelph Green Party candidate Steve Dyck who’s own retrofits have helped him invest in his local economy and save money. “Eliminating waste and increasing efficiency will make our province more competitive.”

The Green Building Program would create an estimated 20,000 jobs across the province, according to estimates by Robert Pollin Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Heidi Garrett-Peltier PERI Research Fellow entitled Building the Green Economy: Employment Effects of Green Energy Investments for Ontario.

“These investments will create green jobs in communities across Ontario,” added Schreiner, “This is something that cannot be achieved with the short term energy subsidies offered by the other parties.”

Ontario is home to numerous businesses that focus on energy efficiency and conservation products and retrofits.

“The kind of Green Building Program that the Ontario Green Party is proposing will create more jobs, have a positive impact on the environment and take Ontario’s economy into the 21st century,” says Stephen Carpenter President of Enermodal Engineering of Kitchener.

The Green Building Program will:
• Provide $800 million in refundable tax credits for home owners and tenants over four years for investments in energy efficiency and building retrofits. This will include an Electric Hot Water Conservation Program for conversion of electric hot water heaters to solar thermal.

• Provide $800 million in refundable business tax credits over four years for businesses to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits, making our businesses more efficient and competitive.

• Strengthen energy efficiency standards to ensure new buildings use less energy for heating and cooling by revising the Ontario Building Code.

• Set a minimum EnerGuide Rating of 86 for all new buildings by 2013 and ensure all new homes and buildings are solar-ready so owners have the option of easy and affordable installation of future solar investments.

• Develop a long-term strategic plan to move our homes and buildings towards Zero Net Energy, with a time table to raise Ontario’s minimum legally-binding energy efficiency standards for new homes, buildings, appliances and equipment to help reduce our energy bills.

• Make it easier for Ontarians to obtain information and advice on energy efficiency, conservation and building retrofits.

• Require home energy efficiency audits and make the results available to potential home buyers and renters so people can make informed choices regarding the operating costs of their homes and apartments.

• Work with the banking sector to design a provincial program that facilitates “energy saver” mortgages and loans at preferential rates for homeowners investing in energy efficient retrofits.

• Develop an Ontario wide framework for a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, as an innovative local government solution to help property owners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements – such as energy efficient boilers, upgraded insulation, new windows, solar installations, etc. – to their homes and businesses.

For more on the Green Party’s 5 Point Plan for Ontario please visit: www.itstimeforgreen.ca

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