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November 30, 2010

Effective and Efficient: You Be The Judge

In May 2010, when the federal Government announced the end of the ecoENERGY Retrofit- Homes program, I wrote my MP to voice my protest.

I also asked for specific information about the program -- its targets and outcomes, how many jobs it created and how much public revenue it generated.

The official Government line explaining the cancellation of the program was that it was "reviewing its energy efficiency and emissions reductions programs to ensure that they continue to be an effective and efficient use of Canadian tax dollars."

The other day I received a letter from The Honourable Christian Paradis, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources responding to my query.

Here is what he had to say:

The Program has had a considerable impact on energy savings in Canada, with each participating home averaging a reduction of more than three tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This translates into an average of a 22-percent energy saving per home.

The original target of the Program was to reduce GHG emissions by 0.48 megatonnes (Mt) but this target has been surpassed as the GHG reductions achieved are currently at 1.02 Mt. These results can largely be attributed to an increase in program funding as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) now expects to reach a reduction of between 1.29 and 1.66 Mt before the Program end date of March 31, 2011.

More than 1,700 energy advisors have been employed by more than 80 service organizations licensed by NRCan to deliver the energy evaluation services to Canadians in every part of the country. The nature of the Program has also positively impacted employment in the renovation and manufacturing industries, though exact figures are not available. It is estimated that, for every $1 invested by the Program, homeowners are investing $10 directly into the renovation sector, thus creating and supporting jobs.

Again, it is not possible at this time to determine the exact amount of money the Program has generated in government revenue as a result of its activities and impact on the job market.

I want to know what you think. Based on the Minister's response, do you think the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program has been an effective and efficient use of public resources?

Why not let Minister Paradis know if you would like the Government to restore funding for the EcoENERGY Retrofit - Home program: paradc0@parl.gc.ca

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