FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 20, 2017
Kjipuktuk (Halifax)– The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) applauds the Federal funding for efficiency upgrades in Nova Scotia’s wood and oil heated residences. The 56 million dollars announced will support economic growth, secure jobs across all of Nova Scotia, improve energy affordability, and tangibly links these issues to the urgent need for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Buildings contribute 17 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. In Nova Scotia, the emissions from buildings are even higher due to the large percentage (about 60%) of space heating and domestic hot water that relies on fuel-oil and the high percentage of coal used to generate electricity in the province.
Reducing energy waste through efficiency is absolutely essential in our fight against climate change. “Energy efficiency may not be as sexy as renewable energy or energy storage, but it is efficiency that will lead to half of the greenhouse gas reductions needed to prevent catastrophic climate change,” Emma Norton, Energy Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre states. “We need all hands on deck to fight the war on climate change and move us to a fossil-fuel free economy. Economic stimuli like this large investment into energy efficiency are going to get us where we need to go.”
The measures announced will incent renovations of existing buildings, and will necessitate a skilled workforce to deliver these upgrades. In Nova Scotia, energy efficiency jobs could include insulation installers and manufacturers, carpenters, construction labourers, electricians, roofers, plumbers, pipefitters, engineering technicians, heat pump installers, appliance retailers, lighting specialists, architects, civil structural engineers and more. Energy efficiency creates more jobs per million dollars invested than renewable energy, which in turn creates more jobs per million dollars invested than fossil fuels.
Norton also celebrates the potential for this to grow the green building materials industry, “We have a growing industry of low-impact building material manufacturers and installers in Nova Scotia. As we are looking at a dramatic increase in renovations and construction, it is important that the greenhouse gas footprint of the building materials does not exceed the greenhouse gas savings achieved by efficiency retrofits. Some kinds of insulation have a carbon footprint that will take about 80 years of energy savings to recoup from the atmosphere.”
“This announcement recognizes the leadership that Efficiency Nova Scotia has shown in laying a solid foundation of effective energy efficiency programming that can be built upon by expanding the programs even more ambitiously” says Norton. Norton hopes that energy efficiency upgrades will be extended to natural gas users, and that efforts will be made to extend these programs to the thirteen Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia, which have a significantly higher energy consumption per capita than the average Nova Scotian home for a variety of reasons including the age and quality of housing, and ownership laws on reserves.
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For further information, please contact:
Energy Conservation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre