August 13, 2007

PEI to create energy efficiency office

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI-Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz has announced plans to set up new Office of Energy Efficiency within the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry. He said the office will provide programs, services and advice to help PEI residents reduce their energy use and save money. Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister George Webster said existing department staff have been assigned to get the office up and operating by this fall. Additional staff will be hired as programs are developed and implemented. The first task, said Webster, will be to determine what those programs will be. "There are a variety of measures that can be used to promote energy efficiency such as rebates, tax incentives or low-interest loans for energy efficient products. We want to determine the best combination of measures that will provide the most benefit for Islanders," he said. The provincial government is having a report prepared which will outline the most effective programs and services to increase energy efficiency in PEI's residential, commercial/institutional and transportation sectors. That work will be completed later this month. Webster also said he expects the new Office of Energy Efficiency will work closely with local organizations, such as environmental and community groups, that are promoting energy efficiency. As well, PEI's Renewable Energy Act requires electric utilities to implement their own demand-side management plans to promote the efficient use of electricity. More information is available by calling 1-877-PEI-OEE6 (1-877-734-6336).

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