Efficiency NB cuts rebates for residential renovations

The program that helps home owners in New Brunswick save money on their heating bills is being shut down by Efficiency NB.

David Coon of Green party calls cancellation `short-sighted and foolish.'

The Alward government is cutting - what many consider - one of the successful energy efficiency programs the province has ever had. Harry Forestell speaks with the CEO of 'Efficiency NB', Margaret Ann Blaney 5:11

The program that helps home owners in New Brunswick save money on their heating bills is being shut down by Efficiency NB.

The government agency says due to budget cuts, it has to cancel its residential program.

As a result, home owners will no longer be offered up to $6,000 in rebates for projects such as insulating basements and replacing drafty windows. Efficiency NB will cut off applications for the residential program at the end of February.

Green party Leader David Coon calls the program's cancellation "short-sighted and foolish."

"I mean, they've helped 30,000 families already in this province to cut their average heating costs by about 25 per cent," said Coon. "Why would we not build on that success and grow Efficiency NB and increase the support that they can provide to more people rather than cutting it?"

Efficiency NB president Margaret-Ann Blaney said the measure is necessary due to a 25 per cent reduction in its budget this year.

"So what we're saying is that this piece of our history with programming, is changing, for Efficiency NB," said Blaney.

"It will be supplied by another delivery agent through NB Power for electricity consumers."

Efficiency NB CEO Margaret Ann-Blaney (CBC)
Efficiency NB was allotted $8.7 million in the provincial budget for 2014-15, down from $11.6 million this year.

The agency says it may not have enough money to cover the rebates for all those people who are registered and working their way through the program. If that proves to be the case, the agency may find itself going back to the government and asking for money to fulfill its obligations.


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