Feb. 13, 2009
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - A new program will offer financial incentives to builders of energy-efficient, multi-unit, residential buildings.
Efficiency NB's new Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) program offers incentives to help with the cost of improved energy efficiency. By meeting a minimum energy-efficiency specification in the construction of a building, the builder may receive $250 per unit; building to a plus energy-efficiency specification raises the incentive to $500 per unit. Further incentives for central heating systems range from $1,000 per unit for an energy-efficient oil or gas central heating system, to $2,000 per unit for installing ground-source heat pumps.
Builders may also receive a bonus of up to $125 per unit for installing ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerators and clothes washers, and a rebate of 50 per cent of the cost of the required energy assessment. The program brochure, which is available from Efficiency NB, provides additional details.
Builders must contact Efficiency NB before construction begins in order to have building plans evaluated. Once constructed, the building will be assessed for its energy efficiency and compliance with program specifications, after which the builder is eligible for applicable incentives.
"Everyone benefits from an energy-efficient building, from building owners to tenants, not to mention the environment," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "This is a great program initiated by Efficiency New Brunswick."
Efficiency NB has developed a list of specifications for builders to follow to ensure that buildings are energy efficient. By maximizing energy efficiencies, and by choosing efficient heating systems and appliances, the benefits include lower operating costs, increased building value, more comfortable housing for residents, and greenhouse-gas reduction.
The MURBs program has been offered as a pilot program for the past two years through a partnership with the Department of Social Development. Incentives were offered to developers who built energy-efficient, affordable housing complexes.
Elizabeth Weir, president and CEO of Efficiency NB, said that the partnership has yielded some very high-quality, highly energy-efficient, low- and mixed-income housing units.
"We've tested the program and had tremendous success," said Weir. "So we are pleased to offer the program to all developers in the province in our effort to transform the new housing market in New Brunswick."
With the addition of the new program, Efficiency NB has a full range of residential energy-efficiency programs for new and existing homes and for new and existing multiple-unit residential buildings, the most comprehensive package of residential programs in the country.
The existing MURBs program has also been enhanced, and now provides owners of existing multi-unit residential buildings with increased incentives for energy-efficient retrofits and a rebate toward the cost of an energy evaluation.
More details on all Efficiency NB programs may be found at its website (www.efficiencynb.ca/enb), or by calling 1-866-643-8833.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tracey Somers, Efficiency NB, 506-643-2860, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.