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What Does Budget 2019 Mean for Smart Energy Communities?

In case you missed the commentary and analysis in the days following the release of the 2019 federal budget, here is a breakdown on what it all means for Smart Energy Communities.

Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Just over $1 billion over the next year to boost energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and multi-unit buildings through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund

Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund will help enable communities to reduce the cost of living for their community members and achieve significant emissions reductions, helping them to advance through the Partners for Climate Protection Program. Potential projects under this funding stream include financing for local home retrofit incentives, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, efficiency and onsite generation in affordable housing, and support for cities and non-profits to retrofit large or demonstration buildings.

Integrating Conventional Energy Networks and Harnessing Local Energy Opportunities

$2.2 billion in federal gas tax revenues that will be directed to municipal infrastructure projects

A one time allotment of $2.2 billion in infrastructure will be divided amongst the provinces on a per capita basis. This is roughly a doubling of the annual funding of past years and will bypass provincial government, hoping to speed up the deployment of the infrastructure plan. This announcement is good news for communities across the country and has a number of potential applications for smart energy initiatives including: public transit, wastewater, infrastructure, drinking water, solid waste management, community energy systems, local roads and bridges, local capacity building, disaster mitigation, and broadband and connectivity.

$144.9 million over 5 years to support cybersecurity of critical infrastructure

This investment includes $22.9 million from within existing Communications Security Establishment resources. It is a necessary investment as we transform to Smart Energy Communities and will help to protect Canada’s critical cyber systems including in the finance, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors.

Transportation

$435 million to support the goal to make zero-emission vehicles 10% of Canadian vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030

There are significant investment to support growth of zero-emission vehicles in the Canadian market including $130m over five years for recharging and refueling stations; $5m over five years to work with auto manufacturers on sales and inventory goals, and $300m over three years for purchase incentives of up to $5,000.

Policy Tools

$15.2 million over five years for Statistics Canada to establish a virtual Canadian Centre for Energy Information

Now more than ever, we require accurate information to guide investment decisions and policies that will enable a smooth transition in the rapidly changing energy sector. We hope to see this initiative to grow and provide granular data for energy use in communities across the country to provide energy consumers and providers, utilities, regulators and government with the data to make educated decisions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate economic opportunities and offer better services. The importance of energy data was laid out in QUEST’s Atlantic Canada Data Energy Roadmap.

$67.8 million over five years for Regulatory Innovation Including ‘Regulatory Sandboxes’

The budget introduced an initiative called Regulatory Roadmaps for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, and Transport Canada. This includes the examination of novel regulatory approaches to accommodate emerging technologies, including the use of regulatory sandboxes and pilot projects. While this isn’t directed at the energy sector, there are potential learnings from the work.

$1.7 billion for Canada Training Benefit

The transformation to a smart energy future will require new skills and training and this commitment will invest in training workers in new skills for the future workforce.

Budget 2019 Reactions

Interested in what key players in the smart energy marketplace are have said about Budget 2019? Read on for a summary of reactions from some of QUEST’s friends and partners.

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Canadian Electricity Association

“This budget clearly empowers Canadians to make clean energy choices.” Francis Bradley, Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Electricity Association

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Efficiency Canada

“Over $1 Billion for cities to invest in energy efficiency in Budget 2019, will create jobs and make energy more affordable for all Canadians.” ~Corey Diamond, Executive Director, Efficiency Canada

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Today’s budget delivers major results for Canadians directly through their local governments. We welcome this as a significant turning point for cities and communities across Canada. ~Vicki-May Hamm, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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Smart Prosperity Institute

“This is a good start, but clean economic growth needs to be a major focus of our country’s budgets and associated policies, so that Canadians can enjoy a thriving economy and environment.” ~Mike Moffatt, Senior Director, Policy and Innovation, Smart Prosperity Institute

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The Canada Green Building Council

“The CaGBC is encouraged by the federal government’s continuing investment in energy efficient buildings and by maintaining its commitment to a price on carbon, which is critical to achieving Canada’s climate change commitments.” ~Thomas Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of CaGBC

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The Pembina Institute

“This year’s budget keeps us on a steady implementation path and continues to highlight how Canadians can work together to  grow an inclusive, low carbon economy that is already emerging, here and around the globe.” ~Isabelle Turcotte, Director of Federal Policy, Pembina Institute

Budget 2019

Access section by section breakdowns or download the full 2019 federal budget

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Cheryl Ratchford

Cheryl Ratchford

Director, Policy & Communications

Cheryl oversees the development, management, and delivery of QUEST’s communications, marketing, and advocacy programs.

James coons

James coons

Lead, Policy & Communications

James provides policy, communications and marketing support and leads projects and advisory service initiatives for QUEST.

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