The CCA has agreed to continue to support the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (CEEA) efforts which include trying to change depreciation rates for energy efficient heating, cooling, lighting and insulation systems.
At the Canadian Construction Association’s (CCA) 96th annual conference, recently held in Panama, the association unanimously supported a motion to approve a one-time funding contribution of $5,000 to help maintain CEEA’s various activities.
The CEEA is Canada’s leading “independent advocate” promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. The alliance was established in 1995 to “increase competitiveness and environmental protections and improve how stakeholders collaborated to promote energy efficiency in Canada,” states its website.
The CCA has strongly advocated for promoting change in these building systems deprecation rates which lead it to join the CEEA. If the change to the rates were successful it would permit building owners to write-off upgrades to heating, cooling, lighting and insulation systems in their year of purchase.
The CCA believes that participating in this coalition will help its association members involved in the commercial and institutional construction and retrofitting sectors. In its recent pre-budget submission the association called for the addition of energy-efficient building heating, cooling and lighting systems to the list of permissible assets under Class 43.2, which permits accelerated asset depreciation at a 50 per cent rate.
In the past, various CCA representatives have noted that environmental supporters have estimated that 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the design, construction and operation of buildings. Since most of these emissions are generated from the burning of fossil fuel to heat, cool or illuminate buildings, any reductions in building energy use would have significant environmental and economic benefits.
The association said that within five to 10 years, the impact of this policy change should produce net tax increases for governments and fewer associated expenditures related to energy production.
Among the members of the CEEA are the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, the Thermal Insulation Association of Canada, a coalition of rental building owners and also suppliers who build energy efficiency equipment for buildings.
A June 2013 policy paper developed by the Global Buildings Performance Network in partnership with KPMG stated that “it is widely recognized” that the building sector accounts for 30 to 40 per cent of global energy use and more than 30 per cent of global CO2 emissions.
“Research undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change demonstrates that energy efficiency in buildings offers the greatest potential to cut CO2 emissions — nearly one quarter of the total mitigation potential of the sector,” stated the paper’s authors.
“Compared to other sectors such as transport and agriculture, buildings also offer the most cost effective potential to make these deep cuts.”
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-WITH FILES FROM KELLY LAPOINTE