PEI·Video

Myers vows to rectify 'embarrassing' backlog of Efficiency PEI rebate cheques

P.E.I. Energy Minister Steven Myers promised Thursday to add more resources to deal with a backlog of Efficiency PEI rebate cheques, after becoming aware of the extent of the problem a day ago. 

Some Islanders have been waiting months for their money back

The P.E.I. government offers homeowners rebates for many energy-efficient upgrades and equipment, but the rebate system is backlogged. (CBC)

P.E.I. Energy Minister Steven Myers promised Thursday to add more resources to deal with a backlog of Efficiency PEI rebate cheques, after becoming aware of the extent of the problem a day ago. 

The cheques are rebates for energy-efficient upgrades including heat pumps and extra insulation. 

"There's definitely a backlog, I think we're like 800 behind now just getting cheques out the door," Myers told CBC News. 

Myers said he only became aware of the extent of the problem this week, after receiving an email from a woman who said she had been waiting 13 weeks for her cheque. She had applied for the rebate in July. 

I know what it's like to have your money tied up and be worried.— Minister of Energy Steven Myers

"That's clearly not acceptable, and it's in fact embarrassing for a group we call efficiency, that we're that inefficient," he said. "Clearly this is not how I want to operate and we're going to work towards rectifying it." 

'I take responsibility'

He said first, the backlog needs to be cleared up. He has also asked for a full review of the process so future claims can be handled within three weeks. 

Energy minister promises to fix massive backlog of Efficiency PEI rebates

1 year ago
Duration 3:19
'That's clearly not acceptable, and it's, in fact, embarrassing for a group we call Efficiency, that we're that inefficient,' says Minister Steven Myers. 3:19

He said staff shortages may be to blame.

"I take responsibility for it," he said, adding, "we have to do a whole lot better." 

Myers has asked Holland College if some of their second-year students in related programs can be hired part time to help with the backlog, and feels confident that will happen.

"It's almost Christmas — I mean some of these people put in a heat pump or whatever they spent their money on through our programs, way back in the summer, expecting to get their money back," he said. 

"We can't even give them a timeline on when we can give them the money back. I don't accept that — I mean, I lived like that. I know what it's like to have your money tied up and be worried." 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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