MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - In a letter sent to the Honorable Gary Collins, British Columbia's minister of finance, Warren Heeley, president of the Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), on behalf of the association's members, strongly urged the ministry to implement a provincial tax exemption for Energy Star®-rated residential heating and air conditioning equipment, including central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps.

The letter stated that improvements in the average energy efficiency of these products in British Columbia would substantially decrease both energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

Other benefits cited by HRAI included the opportunity to reduce energy consumption in both the fossil fuel and electrical sectors, and significantly assist with any electrical supply problems that may be experienced by the province during unusually hot summers. The timing of this recommendation was due to the fact that decisions on the 2005 provincial budget will be made by December 2004.

This initiative is in keeping with the 2004 HRAI National Assembly resolution to spearhead a new coordinated initiative at the federal and provincial levels to provide incentives (tax exemptions, rebates, etc.) for Energy Star-rated HVAC equipment. HRAI noted that its staff is following up with the ministers' office to schedule a meeting.

Publication date: 11/08/2004