The province of Ontario issued an announcement, officially ending the cap-and-trade carbon tax. How does this affect your home?
The cap-and-trade carbon tax is charged to businesses and corporations that exceed a certain level of greenhouse gas emissions. The tax funded programs like GreenON, which provided things like smart thermostat upgrades and rebates for energy efficient home retrofits.
“Every cent spent from the cap-and-trade slush fund is money that has been taken out of the pockets of Ontario families and businesses,” says Ford in the official announcement. “We believe that this money belongs back in the pockets of people. Cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax will result in lower prices at the gas pump, on your home heating bills and on virtually every other product that you buy.”
Revoking this tax may lower prices at the gas pump, but the province is eliminating the program that would give you a rebate (up to $14,000) for purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle. You had the option to save money buying a hybrid or electric vehicle and you would have also saved money at the pump while being more environmentally friendly.
“Cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes are no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet in order to fund big government programs,” says Ford. “I promised that the party with taxpayers’ dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund. Today we are keeping that promise.”
We’re curious about how a program offering rebates for energy efficient home upgrades and electric vehicles would have no impact on the environment. Also, it seems like no other plan has been put forward to address climate change across the province.
The announcement does mention that the province will honour existing contracts where the arrangements have been made and the orders have been placed, for things like green home retrofits. The province shows some signs of continuing to support some initiatives on a case by case basis.
We’re not exactly sure what “case by case” means when it comes to you wanting to make an energy efficient upgrade. Would you have to contact the province? Would your contractor go through those steps for you?
“We are getting Ontario out of the carbon tax business,” says Ford, concluding the announcement. “Our focus will be to give people lower gas prices, lower energy bills and a real break in their wallets in order to get our economy going and create jobs. Help is here.”
Energy efficient upgrades lower your monthly energy costs and a hybrid or electric vehicle would decrease the amount of money you spend at the gas station. Every gas powered vehicle replaced by an electric vehicle equals a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. A solar powered, well insulated, air tight home means savings for you and a more comfortable, healthy living environment. You still have the option of making these types of green upgrades, you just don’t have financial support from the province anymore, so it will be more expensive.
You may see some savings at the pump moving forward, but was it worth it?