Coalition: Boost energy-upgrade incentives1/15/2013
Further tax incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades would encourage more apartment building owners in Nova Scotia to do retrofits, a Killam Properties vice-president said Monday.
Dale Noseworthy, Killam’s vice-president of investor relations and corporate planning, said landlords are interested in energy-efficiency retrofits when they can afford them.
“It does cost money up front,” Noseworthy said in an interview. “You know it’s the right thing to do, but you have to be able to have that cash flow to support it.”
A group of national associations representing landlords, the construction industry and energy equipment and services providers announced Monday that they have banded together to form the Building Energy Efficiency Coalition.
The umbrella group is lobbying the federal government to make more types of energy-efficiency equipment and upgrades eligible for an accelerated tax writeoff.
David Lyman, vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations, said the coalition wants to see more types of heating and cooling systems eligible for tax incentives.
“What we’re looking for here is tweaks to recognize either some gaps that were in the regulations or some changes in technology that make it viable now,” Lyman said from Ottawa.
The proposal is mostly aimed at apartment building owners, although some proposed changes would also benefit hotel operators, he said.
For instance, solar equipment to heat swimming pools is one area the coalition would like to see be eligible for incentives. Heat recovery ventilators and chillers for air conditioning would also be added to the retrofit list.
Building renovations, such as new chimneys or ductwork, required as part of boiler upgrade projects should also qualify, Lyman said.
The coalition met with federal finance and natural resources officials late last year to suggest the energy-efficiency improvements, he said.
“There’s certainly interest. Those whom we have been speaking to have recognized that these may well be gap elements that ought to be filled.”
Noseworthy said Killam has invested in several green initiatives over the years, including installing solar panels on some of its buildings. Killam’s properties also have energy-efficient lighting and low-flow toilets, she said.
“We have to weigh the economics and the cost-benefit. But we want our buildings to be most efficient, so we will invest in many of those things.”
Killam spent $1.3 million in 2011 on heat-related capital investment, including converting some of its buildings to natural gas.
“When there are incentives available, certainly we would look to use those,” Noseworthy said.
(The Chronicle Herald)