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Province pushing energy efficiency

The province is hoping new rebates will encourage new home owners to buy green.

The province is hoping new rebates will encourage new home owners to buy green.

The PerformancePlus program, announced by Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks yesterday, will provide new home owners $3,000 to $7,000 in rebates depending on how energy-efficient their homes are.

“New home owners want to make sure they have some of these special, attractive features that are important as they look at their budget monthly,” said Estabrooks.

“Having talked to a number of the home builders who are here, that’s the selling feature for a program such as this ... it’s a real good initiative.”

The size of the rebate depends on the home’s EnerGuide rating.

A home must achieve a rating of 83 (out of 100) to qualify for the minimum rebate.

Estabrooks said the rebate program is meant to fill the hole left when the federal government cut its environmental incentive program earlier in the year.

“We decided if (the federal government) wasn’t going to be following up an important initiative like this, we were just going to get out there and do what we could,” he said.

“Not to stick a fork into them, but they’ve missed the boat.”

One real estate agent on hand for the announcement said the money is sorely needed, as the industry feels the effects of the province’s two percentage point HST hike in July.

The rebate program went into effect yesterday. It will be available on a first come, first served basis for 12,000 home buyers, or until June 30, 2011, whichever comes first.

Estabrooks said he anticipates all positions will be filled well in advance of the deadline.

 
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