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Provincial climate change, energy efficiency programs get $47.8 million funding

P.E.I. Environment Minister Richard Brown and Energy Minister Paula Biggar, attend Friday’s $47.8-million funding announcement for climate change programs in the province.
P.E.I. Environment Minister Richard Brown and Energy Minister Paula Biggar, attend Friday’s $47.8-million funding announcement for climate change programs in the province. - Terrence McEachern

The federal and provincial governments are providing a total of $47.8 million in funding for programs to help Islanders reduce carbon emissions, be more energy efficient and save money.

“Climate change is a big challenge, but it is also an opportunity,” said Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, during Friday’s funding announcement at Stratford Town Centre.

“By acting now, we will help grow our industry, our economy, reduce our energy costs, save people money and create well-paying jobs at the same time.”

The $47.8 million is comprised of $23.8 million of federal funding under the $1.4-billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund announced in 2017, and $24 million in provincial funding.

The total funding will be applied to three provincial programs.

The first with Efficiency P.E.I. helps with building retrofits (residential, commercial and industrial), fuel switching and rebates to purchase and install energy-efficient products.

The other programs are with the Department of Communities, Land and Environment. They involve reducing carbon pollution in agriculture and managing forests, such as planting additional trees on less productive agricultural land to enhance carbon storage.

MacAulay explained that one way the funding will make an impact is with increased rebates for heat pumps.

Mike Proud, senior manager of energy, policy and programs with Efficiency P.E.I., said the funding will help expand initiatives, such as those involving heat pumps and insulation for window and doors as well as help launch other initiatives (in-store rebates) in the near future.

Efficiency P.E.I. is receiving the bulk of the funding announced on Friday, he added.

“The long-term benefits of energy efficiency are proven. It’s always the first thing you need to do. It’s always the first cost-effective thing you need to do. And, it provides savings year over year over year,” Proud explained.

Also speaking at the funding announcement was Paula Biggar, minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy, and Richard Brown, minister of communities, land and environment.

terrence.mceachern@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/Terry_mcn

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