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Improved tax treatment for energy retrofits called for by coalition

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Improved tax treatment for energy efficiency retrofits is a “win-win proposition” for building owners, equipment manufacturers and installers and the federal government itself, says John Dickie, a spokesman for the recently created Building Energy Efficiency Coalition.

Improved tax treatment for energy efficiency retrofits is a “win-win proposition” for building owners, equipment manufacturers and installers and the federal government itself, says John Dickie, a spokesman for the recently created Building Energy Efficiency Coalition.

“Energy efficiency tax reform will create a large number of good jobs, since the work must be done in Canada and much of the equipment is manufactured in Canada,” he said in a statement.

“Energy efficiency tax reform is a win-win proposition, good for workers, good for the environment, good for building owners and tenants and positive for government revenue.”

Dickie is president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA), one of the founding members of the coalition.

The coalition, which represents nine associations, is seeking “a modest expansion” in the equipment included in CCA Class 43.2 — specifically certain additional heat recovery ventilators and active solar equipment, as well as certain high efficiency heating equipment and high efficiency chillers.

Introduced in 2005, this class, in Schedule II of regulations under the Income Tax Act, provides for accelerated capital cost allowances for specified clean energy generation equipment.

The coalition believes that in most cases, the revised tax treatment of energy efficiency retrofit investments will in fact generate additional government revenue as a result of the increased net income of building owners.

That is in addition to taxes gained on the profits and wages earned by the manufacturers and installers of the equipment and on the wages earned by the new workers who are hired, the coalition said.

In a submission to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, the coalition made the point that improved energy efficiency in buildings creates large numbers of “good” jobs in Canada, reduces the need for costly new energy infrastructure and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the CFAA, coalition members include the Canadian Construction Association, the Real Property Association of Canada, Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, Thermal Insulation Association of Canada, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating, Association of Energy Engineers — southern Ontario chapter, Energy Services Association of Canada and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada.

The board of the mechanical contractors’ association voted in favour of joining the coalition during its 71st annual national conference in Maui in November.

Follow Patricia Williams on Twitter @Patricia_DCN.

by Patricia Williams

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