September 30th, 2014 was the last day homeowners could claim the $5,000 rebate offered by Efficiency New Brunswick for a geothermal heat pump installation. The Crown corporation announced in February that it would no longer accept new applications for the rebates, citing lack of funding as the reason this popular program is being discontinued.
Under the popular Efficiency New Brunswick program, homeowners could obtain an energy assessment for their home, which would highlight where the home needed to be upgraded. Once that is complete, the homeowner could make the recommended upgrades and apply for rebates to offset the cost. Homeowners could receive up to $6,000 for improvements, including a $5,000 rebate for installing a geothermal heat pump.
This $5,000 incentive helped homeowners offset the extra cost of choosing a highly efficient geothermal heat pump, which is more expensive than other less efficient alternatives like air source heat pumps. A local homeowner that was interviewed by CBC says he “probably wouldn’t have installed a geothermal heat pump” without the rebate, but now that he has, he’s saving 70% on his heating costs.
The program was also popular with business owners because it stimulated small business growth. This is because local contractors performed the majority of the upgrades. In fact, studies have shown that every $1 of subsidies provided provides $2 in earned revenue for the provincial government.
The program itself may be out of funding, but residents of New Brunswick are hoping this is only temporary. The new liberal government has promised to reinstate the home energy efficiency retrofit programs, which would allow the burgeoning energy efficiency industry to continue to grow and become established in the province.
Here at Maritime Geothermal Ltd., we’re always happy to see federal and provincial governments providing ways for homeowners to offset the cost of energy efficient renovations. While we’re sad to see the New Brunswick rebates expire, we’re hopeful that they will be reinstated in the future. You can find geothermal heat pump rebates in your province by visiting our rebates page.
Image Credit: wistechcolleges