By GRAHAM HICKS
Elise Stolte writes a civic affairs column in The Edmonton Journal. This past week, occasioned by city hall’s decision to top up a provincial rebate for home solar-panel installations and other energy-conservation measures, she reviewed the labyrinth of provincial and municipal rebates amounting to an enormous 40 per cent subsidy, at least on solar panel installations.
Her column concluded that such rebates — affecting 625 of 300,000 properties in Edmonton — have little if any effect on the City of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. She had a few alternative suggestions — all government dependent.
This whole business — not Stolte’s column, but the profligate spending of billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to allegedly fight global warming with so little results — gets my blood boiling.
Governments, STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!!!!
Let’s start from the top down.
Global warming is barely Canada’s problem, for two huge reasons.
It’s 99.9 per cent China’s fault, .1 per cent Canada’s. China increased its CO2 emissions by 1,382 megatons between 2010 to 2016, compared to a nine-megaton increase in Canada.
Canada’s coal-burning electricity plants are now converting to natural gas — which as a rule of thumb creates one-third the CO2 emissions of coal. This one decisive action — replacing coal emissions with much-cleaner natural gas — will meet most of Canada’s international commitment to lowering its CO2 emissions.
In other words, WE DON’T NEED A TON OF EXTRA TAXES to subsidize this and that ‘n’ everything in the name of saving the planet!
We don’t need to subsidize wind farms that are inherently inefficient — no wind, no power.
This ideologically driven Alberta New Democrat government insists that coal-fired electricity be replaced by sustainable energy (wind, solar) most of which in Alberta costs much more than clean, cheap natural gas of which we have oodles.
On the municipal level, why on Earth do we need home-renovation subsidies?
Homeowners upgrade their windows, furnace and insulation as an investment! The money should be more than recovered from future savings in heating and electricity bills, period.
Why give out government subsidy, when subsidy is not needed? Of course income-strapped seniors should be helped, but why give tax dollars to households with combined incomes of over $120,000 a year … to renovate their house? Give that money to me in the form of lower property taxes! I will use it to eco-fit my own home!
Why massive subsidies — 40 per cent of the cost, according to Stolte’s column — to “encourage” residential solar panels, when there’s no need?
In recent years, solar panels and systems have dramatically dropped in price. Anybody building a new home should be looking at solar panels as a possible way to save on energy costs. With no subsidies!
My neighbour — doing his own installation — spent $10,000 on a solar system. How much he got in government subsidy, if any, I don’t know. His system is fine for nine months of the year, providing enough power that he can recover a few bucks selling excess power back into the grid. But in the cold winter months, he still has to suck power from the grid, natural gas from the ATCO neighbourhood gas line.
Here’s the irony: His ultimate goal is to get off the grid — thus saving not only on fuel, but on administration charges, transaction fees, delivery charges, rate riders, municipal franchise fees, the carbon tax and GST on all the above. That’s the best argument for going solar! On my last power bill, the actual electricity cost $47.51, the actual natural gas charge was $28.37. The total bill, with all the extra grid-imposed charges, the carbon levy and GST, was $254.52!!! Get me off the grid, too!
The Alberta New Democrats’ Climate Leadership Plan, rushed into action six months after taking power in the spring of 2015, has spent billions upon billions of (borrowed) dollars allegedly saving the planet while achieving very little besides accelerating the closure of aging coal-fired electricity plants. And I guess it was a good make-work program. Hundreds of civil servants have been hired to administer all the Climate Leadership Plan programs.
It’s the same old story. Governments, STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!!!