April 6, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial program that helps homeowners increase the energy efficiency of their homes will continue without change despite the decision of the federal government to end the ecoEnergy Retrofit Program for homes to new participants.
Energy Minister Jack Keir said Efficiency NB is open for business and will continue to provide homeowners with advice and incentives to help make homes more energy efficient and will still offer the most affordable energy assessments in the country.
Keir joined other officials across the country in expressing disappointment at the decision and its timing.
"It's really unfortunate because Efficiency NB has seen a significant increase in program participation," said Keir. "New Brunswick homeowners have had great success in lowering their energy bills, they've increased local spending, helped create jobs for local contractors and increased business in the home improvement retail sector, all at a crucial time.
"Energy efficiency continues to be a main focus for our government in managing energy consumption and in meeting our goals of our Climate Change Action Plan."
The ecoENERGY Retrofit Program was scheduled to be shut down March 31, 2011. Last week's announcement means homeowners are no longer eligible for federal incentives in addition to those offered through Efficiency NB's Existing Homes program. Homeowners who have already had their initial energy assessment and are already in the program will be eligible for federal incentives until the March 31, 2011, deadline.
Homeowners are still able to schedule an initial energy assessment ($50 for the first 2,000 sq. ft. and an additional $50 for each additional 1,000 sq. ft.), complete their upgrades within 18 months and be eligible for a grant of up to $2,000 or an interest-free loan up to $10,000 through Efficiency NB, but will not be eligible for additional federal incentives.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tracey Somers, communications, Efficiency NB, 506-643-2860.