Last year we took possession of a new home that surpassed an energy rating of Energuide 86. Because of that, Climate Change Central, an arms-length government organization, mailed us a $10,000 cheque.
What we really need is a carbon tax. Economists (the good kind) and environmentalists agree, putting a price on carbon is the simplest, most effective way of changing people’s earth-destroying ways. And I don’t buy the argument that Stephane Dion’s doomed election campaign proved that Canadians don’t want a carbon tax. The nerdiest, least competent Liberal leader in a generation lost that campaign for reasons other than his Green Shift idea.
Since a carbon tax is a political hot potato right now, one behaviour-changing alternative is the green subsidy. I have to give the Progressive Conservatives credit, this is no longer Ralph Klein’s Alberta. Stelmach’s government recently enacted an excellent net metering policy, and they also introduced the new home rebate policy.
With the right builder, we estimate that the incremental cost to building a house to meet Energuide 86, which would include excellent windows (triple-pane, low-e coating, insulating spaces, etc.), at least R40 walls, R60 in the ceiling, and a very tightly-sealed envelope, is $20,000-$25,000. With the $10,000 incentive, that cost is now ridiculously low.
Build a house that is extremely cheap to heat, much more comfortable in the winter, and cool in the summer. And get paid ten grand to do it - it’s a no-brainer.
Climate Change Central has another three years of funding in place (it may be extended beyond that time). Ask your builder to save you $10,000 today. If your builder can’t build an Energuide 86 house, find another one.