Building Insight Technologies Inc.

March 15, 2011 09:00 ET

Building Insight Technologies Inc.: New Coalition Puts Last-Minute Pressure on Government to Renew ecoENERGY Home Retrofit Program

Industry Leaders Act to Save Thousands of Jobs and Billions in Tax Revenue

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - A new coalition of industry associations, small businesses and environmental organizations has joined together to call for a renewal of the federal government's popular ecoENERGY Home Retrofit program.

The Save ecoENERGY coalition is asking Prime Minister Harper to restore the program immediately as part of the upcoming federal budget. When the current ecoENERGY program expires on March 31, 2011, as many as 1,000 home energy audit businesses will be put out of work.

"When Canadians are increasingly concerned about climbing energy bills, it makes no sense to put energy-saving companies out of work," says Jeff Murdock, Vice President of Building Insight Technologies, a coalition supporter and home energy audit provider in Ontario and British Columbia. "The ecoENERGY program is a logical way to protect our communities from rising energy prices."

"Many politicians we've spoken to say they like the ecoENERGY program," says Murdock. "But they think it costs too much money in this time of belt-tightening. We think they need to take a closer look at the math."

Supporters of the Coalition say that restoring ecoENERGY is actually a revenue-positive move, because it generates $2 in tax revenue for every $1 paid in incentives to homeowners. As a result, the program both pays for itself and helps reduce government deficits.

A leading industry association has calculated that a renewed $1 billion federal ecoENERGY Retrofit program, with matching grants from the provinces, generates total government revenues of $5 billion. According to Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), this four-year program creates up to 350,000 person-years of employment in the renovation industry.

Jack Layton, NDP leader, has asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to restore the ecoENERGY program as one of his proposals to secure NDP support for the upcoming federal budget.

"Renewing ecoENERGY is a smart way to stimulate the economy at no cost to government," says Murdock. "It creates jobs, saves energy, improves the environment and fights government deficits, all at the same time."

About the Save ecoENERGY Coalition

The Save ecoENERGY Coalition formed in March, 2011, in response to the upcoming end of the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes program. Home renovation businesses, energy audit companies and environmental groups have been actively gathering support for the Coalition's mission statement: "We support the renewal of Canada's ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes Program starting in April, 2011." A growing list of supporters and associated correspondence can be found at www.saveecoenergy.blogspot.com.

About ecoENERGY Retrofit

The Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program provides financial assistance to encourage owners of existing low-rise properties to make smart energy retrofit decisions that will result in significant energy savings, more comfortable living spaces and a cleaner environment. Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan's) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) administers the program and provides the grants, but local service organizations across the country deliver the program to homeowners.

The Government of Canada took Canadians by surprise in March, 2010, when it announced the suspension of the program. With this move, homeowners who had already booked an appointment, completed an evaluation or applied for re-entry into the ecoENERGY Retrofit program were given until March 31, 2011 to apply for the grant. No new applicants were accepted after March 2010.

About Building Insight Technologies Inc.

Founded in 1997, Building Insight Technologies Inc. is a building science company with a team of 70 people. Based in Vancouver, it is a licensed service organization for Natural Resources Canada's ecoENERGY Retrofit program in Ontario and British Columbia. Its HomePerformance Energy Advisors conduct specialized tests and procedures to determine a home's air tightness, insulation levels, heating and cooling equipment efficiency, and more. HomePerformance Energy Advisors are unbiased, independent experts certified by the Government of Canada. For more information see www.homeperformance.com.

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