MISSISSAUGA, Ont., Canada — On January 15, 2003, Warren Heeley, president of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), forwarded a letter to Ontario Minister of Energy John Baird requesting consideration of extending a recently announced provincial sales tax rebate on Energy Star-rated appliances to include heating and air conditioning products.

In the letter, HRAI pointed out that the association has worked for over 25 years with federal and provincial governments on programs to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC products and systems. As a result, energy efficiency has improved significantly and the reduced energy consumption has helped reduce Canadian energy demand and emissions of greenhouse gases.

The letter also pointed out that appliances represent only about 14 percent of a household's annual energy consumption while heating and air conditioning systems can represent as much as 60 percent of that consumption. Therefore, it noted, improvements in the average energy efficiency of HVAC products in Ontario homes would substantially decrease both energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. HVAC equipment also provides the opportunity to reduce energy consumption in the fossil fuel and electrical sectors.

The letter went on to say, “In particular, an incentive to purchase Energy Star-rated residential air conditioning products will significantly assist with future electrical supply problems like those experienced by the province during the unusually hot summer of 2002.”

The letter concluded by strongly recommending that the provincial tax rebate program for Energy Star-rated products be extended to residential heating and air conditioning equipment including air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. HRAI understands that the province is considering extending the program to other energy consuming products and the HVAC sector is “the best option, considering the energy demand reduction results that could be achieved in a reasonable period of time.”

Publication date: 01/13/2003