VICTORIA — Dan Woynillowicz, policy director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s 2019 budget:
“Today’s budget hits the mark with targeted support that enables Canadians and Canadian businesses to cut both their carbon pollution and their energy bills.
It includes measures to help Canadian families and businesses choose electric vehicles. Purchase incentives and business tax support can help them overcome higher upfront prices and benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs—while also reducing carbon pollution.
Plus, the government will roll out more charging infrastructure, giving drivers peace of mind that, when it’s time to fuel up, they can find a spot to plug-in.
Homeowners, renters and building operators will benefit from $1.1 billion in new funding to increase energy efficiency. With investments in retrofits and more efficient new buildings, the places where we live, work and play will be more comfortable, produce less pollution, and have lower energy bills.
Canadians want to do what they can to cut carbon pollution. They know more needs to be done to fight climate change, and they want to do more. The measures announced today will help Canadians do that in a way that is not only more affordable upfront, but that will deliver cost savings month after month.
It’s a win for the environment and our wallets.”
Canada has a target to sell 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2040, with interim goals of 10% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. In support of these goals, the federal budget includes:
- $130 million over five years for recharging and refuelling stations in workplaces, public parking spots, commercial and multi-unit residential buildings, and remote locations;
- $5 million over five years to work with auto manufacturers to secure voluntary zero-emission vehicle sales targets to ensure that vehicle supply meets increased demand;
- $300 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, to introduce a new federal purchase incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000;
- For businesses, passenger (up to $55,000), medium and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles will be eligible for a full tax write-off in the year they are put in use.
Recent public opinion research by Abacus Data found that majorities support governments offering rebates or purchase incentives to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles and investing public funds to strengthen recharging infrastructure. Less than 15% would oppose either of those measures. Support for both cuts across regional, generational and party lines.
Budget 2019 proposes to invest $1 billion in 2018–19 to increase energy efficiency in residential, commercial and multi-unit buildings.
Modelling of the Economic Impact of Improved Energy Efficiency in Canada found that:
- Every $1 spent on energy efficiency programs generates $7 of GDP.
- Modelling suggests that an average of 118,000 annual jobs will be created between now and 2030 due to economic activity associated with energy efficiency.
Canadians like energy efficiency. Public opinion research from Environics Research found that 88% of Canadians were interested in buying more efficient appliances, 79% in upgrading their homes to save energy, and 78% in switching to more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Report | Less is More