I’m a homeowner. So that puts me in a fairly privileged position, I admit. Nevertheless when the federal government came up with the notion of the ecoEnergy program the environmentalist and social justice in me (which is, I’ll admit, rather a large part of me) was actually stunned at how much sense it made.
A subsidy to (relatively privileged) homeowners yes, but for once they’re spending money to create jobs and do something constructive. So many other government programs that create jobs have nasty side effects: jets, jails, taxation centres, etc etc. This just seemed like a no-brainer.
It’s also true that people should be retro-fitting their homes to make them more energy efficient anyway and the shouldn’t need an extra cash rebate to do it. But you can apply that argument to seatbelts, cycling helmets and home insurance too. Just as requiring these things saves lives, encouraging energy efficiency saves energy.
And compared to the current government which seems to be hell bent on using tax revenue to scrape every last bit of oily tar out of Northern Alberta no matter the environmental cost, giving people $20 to buy a toilet that uses less water seems positively saintly.
Naturally the program had to be killed. Anything less might make people think running out of cheap energy was a potential real life problem.
Well, fortunately people aren’t laying down and giving up on this one. Not on the OAS either, but that’s a subject for another blog.
If you think the government should still be in the business of encouraging energy efficiency in homes, please send this message to a whack of federal politicians.