HST off Home Heating - Bad Idea!
Dear Ms. Horwath, I applaud your politicking toward getting a better budget for Ontarians.
My main concern is your proposal to take the HST off of home heating. This is tantamount to subsidizing cheaper energy at the expense of revenues earned by the government elsewhere.
Moreover, a substantial majority of Ontario homes are heated with natural gas which is at devastatingly low prices and homeowners are seeing their heating bills go down while their vehicle fuel bills go up; there’s no need and no pressure on home heating as there is on municipal water and electricity.
Homes heated with more expensive propane or oil have seen their home heating costs rise due to the pricing pressures on the underlying commodity - oil. Moreover, these fuels are much more polluting and the energy intensity of those homes is much higher. Where natural gas is not available, these homeowners should consider switching to geothermal which can have a pay back as low as 5 years when switching off oil. Did you know 2 of North America’s largest geothermal heat pump distributors are located in Ontario?
Basic economic theory dictates that as prices rise economic players look for alternatives and substitutes which means investing in new technologies. Higher energy prices are in fact required to stimulate investment in Ontario’s housing stock through efficient technologies. These include made in Ontario products like insulation and lumber and require Ontario skilled trades like electricians and gas fitters.
Not only that, but the McGuinty government (once progressive supporters of the green economy, now nothing more than market manipulators) have abandoned all support for the energy retrofit industry threatening hundreds of Ontario businesses and thousands of green economy jobs.
Rising energy prices are required to stimulate investment in low carbon technologies. Natural gas commodity prices are so low large producers are halting new production due to a glut of natural gas supply in part from new extraction methods (fracking).
The Ontario government has already abandoned the green economy, could you be a voice for it? Can you help make our homes more efficient, more valuable, safer and more comfortable? Will you support policies that drive investment and balance our provinces books? Or, will you stick to politically ‘smart’ policies that are economically stupid and wholly unnecessary?
Your choice, I’ll be watching.