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Corey Arsenault, left, owner of Stretch Fitness in Summerside, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Paula Biggar, and Mark Proud, senior manager of energy policy and programming for the province were on hand for the announcement of efficiencyPEI’s Business Rebate Program.
Corey Arsenault, left, owner of Stretch Fitness in Summerside, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Paula Biggar, and Mike Proud, senior manager of energy policy and programming for the province were on hand for the announcement of efficiencyPEI’s Business Rebate Program. - Millicent McKay

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Island owners of businesses and other non-residential buildings will be able to save a little money by choosing more energy efficient products.

On Monday, the provincial government launched the efficiencyPEI Business Energy Rebate program aimed to cut energy spending costs for businesses, community halls, churches and other buildings not deemed residential.

“Energy efficiency allows businesses to cut their operating costs while reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.

Biggar’s provincial department includes efficiencyPEI.

Biggar says if there is any province that can affect real change it is P.E.I.

“We are small, nimble and connected. And this rebate program will allow businesses and government to work together to reach our climate change goals.”

In past years, a similar efficiencyPEI program has been available only for residential owners. This is the first time it’s been opened to a broader public audience.

“When an Islander buys an eligible product that fits into the criteria that we’ve established, they can mail us the invoice and the original receipt, and we’ll cut them a cheque,” said Mike Proud, senior manager of energy policy and programing for the province.

“As long as the item meets our criteria, Islanders will save money by applying for a rebate.”

As the program is in its infancy, Proud says the first year will be crucial and hopefully expand year after year.

Right now, the main focus of rebates centre around lighting and heat pumps.

In order to determine which companies sell qualifying products, efficiencyPEI partnered with wholesalers of the products.

“That factor has been a big help,” he said.

Proud says it’s a way to prepare for the future.

“Efficiency is the first step.”

Proud says a little over 50 per cent of the Island’s electricity is used in a non-residential capacity.

Steve Howard, owner and operator of Renewable Lifestyles, a local green energy product provider, says a small step is still a step forward when it comes to energy efficiency.

“Tapping into Islanders’ drive to do the right thing and their desires to save a dollar will be a big draw to this program.

“It’s nice to see it open to businesses. It would also be nice to see it expanded on. I’ll be interested to see what the next step is and hopefully the steps toward more distributed generation energy sources.”

Corey Arsenault, owner of Stretch Fitness, in Summerside has been using energy saving programs for about six years, starting with the City of Summerside’s Heat for Less program.

“This program will mean good savings for us and savings for other Islanders. This is money we’ll have to spend in years to come, so to get it back now to invest in something else later is great.”

w88Việt nam Millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com

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