Canada

Carbon pricing good idea complicated by rising energy costs: N.S. advocate

An reasonably priced vitality advocate says the imposition of shopper carbon pricing in Nova Scotia is a good suggestion, however provides that rising vitality prices proceed to pose issues for folks with decrease incomes.

Brian Gifford, chair of the Reasonably priced Power Coalition of Nova Scotia, believes most individuals will probably be helped by the federal authorities’s plan to supply quarterly rebates to offset carbon pricing prices, starting in July.

The rebates will see households in Nova Scotia get $248 with each cost, whereas these within the different two provinces the place carbon pricing was imposed on Tuesday — Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island — will see rebates of $328 and $240 respectively.

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However Gifford mentioned much more assistance will seemingly be wanted.

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“On this time of excessive oil costs, particularly, and rising electrical energy charges, there may be nonetheless going to be an issue for folks,” Gifford mentioned in an interview Wednesday.

The carbon value is anticipated so as to add an preliminary 17.4 cents per litre to the price of heating oil.

Gifford mentioned a $250-million federal grant introduced Monday that was meant as one other offset to assist folks swap from residence heating oil to electrical warmth pumps can even assist, however solely marginally. The cash is along with an envelope of $250 million over 4 years that was introduced by federal Atmosphere Minister Steven Guilbeault in September to help folks with residence heating prices.

“It (the grant) doesn’t work for lower-income households as a result of they’ll’t pay their share of the prices,” mentioned Gifford, who added {that a} grant of as much as $5,000 just isn’t sufficient by itself to modify to a warmth pump.

“Our own residence was transformed for about $12,000 and this about seven years in the past,” he mentioned. “It (the grant) wants more cash per family. The cap is just too low.”


Brian Gifford, chair of the Reasonably priced Power Coalition of Nova Scotia, poses on this undated handout photograph. Brian Gifford, chair of the Reasonably priced Power Coalition of Nova Scotia, says the imposition of shopper carbon pricing in his province is a good suggestion, however says rising vitality prices proceed to pose issues for folks with decrease incomes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Brian Gifford.


About 30 per cent of houses in Atlantic Canada use oil for heating, together with almost half of Nova Scotia’s 400,000 households.

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With the sum of money probably out there, Gifford believes solely a small portion of these houses will truly get the assistance they should convert their heating programs. He mentioned the funding must be synchronized with present provincial applications to be more practical.

Nonetheless, Gifford was cautious to not criticize carbon pricing. “The carbon tax just isn’t the issue,” he mentioned. “Fossil fuels are the issue.”

Rising demand for warmth pumps can be a possible complication, mentioned John Devereaux of Floor Hog Geothermal and Warmth Pump Ltd., which serves clients within the Annapolis Valley and Halifax Regional Municipality.

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Devereaux mentioned the cellphone at his enterprise has been “rung off the hook” with latest demand. He mentioned there’s presently a six-month ready record for service.

The recognition of warmth pumps “has been rising over time,” he mentioned, “however this yr particularly has been tremendous busy, and a number of that’s credited to the price of oil.”

Devereaux mentioned there may be additionally a scarcity of technicians out there to put in warmth pump programs. He mentioned a couple of dozen corporations within the province are actively making an attempt to rent certified staff. Floor Hog has 10 technicians, and Devereaux mentioned he may simply put “one other 4 to work no drawback.”

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“There’s been a shortfall for some time,” he mentioned.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 24, 2022.

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