January 29, 2007

New Brunswick commits over $26M to energy-efficient homes, apartments

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham has unveiled four new residential energy efficiency programs whose benefits will be immediately available to the owners of new and existing homes. The initiative will also support energy efficiency improvements by owners of small apartment buildings in New Brunswick; this is the first provincial program of its kind in Canada.

"These programs represent a commitment of more than $26 million in 2007-2008 by the provincial government for residential energy efficiency improvements - that's an increase of more than 200 per cent," Graham stated.

To encourage more New Brunswick residents to undertake energy efficiency improvements, the government has reduced the cost of an EnerGuide rating-based home energy evaluation. An owner of an average-sized home will now pay only $50 for such an evaluation, giving New Brunswickers access to the most affordable home energy evaluations in the country.

The new programs include the following.

*The expanded Existing Homes Upgrades program offers grants of up to $2,000 or interest-free loans of up to $10,000 residential energy efficiency improvements.

*The Multiple Unit Residential Building program (MURB) provides financial assistance to small apartment owners who want to make their buildings more energy-efficient. This provincial program is the first of its kind in Canada.

*The Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program for low-income households provides free home energy evaluations and a provincial grant of up to $4500 towards energy-efficient upgrades to individual homes and $1,500 per unit for low-income apartments and rooming houses.

*The New Homes Program provides financial assistance to support the construction of new homes built to the EnerGuide 80 or R2000 certification. Additional incentives are available under this program for homeowners who choose non-electric central heating options as well as an Energy Star lighting and appliance package.

More information is available on the Efficiency New Brunswick Web site, www.efficiencynb.ca.

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