PEI Office of Energy Efficiency getting out of the loan business
May 15, 2013 - The budget for energy efficiency grants will increase by more than $300,000, says the government of Prince Edward Island, as the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) moves away from issuing loans to focus on its other programs.
By Anthony Capkun
“The budget for the OEE will remain the same,” said Wes Sheridan, finance, energy and municipal affairs minister. “We are simply taking the money we were spending on loans and adding it to the existing grant program. By doing this, we can ensure that the funding goes where it will have the greatest impact: toward energy-efficient upgrades to insulation, heating systems and energy-efficient windows and doors in Island homes and businesses.”
Under the previous system, whenever a loan went into default, it directly impacted OEE’s grants and other programs, says the government. The previous auditor general, Colin Younker, pointed out in his 2012 Annual Report that the more money that was spent on defaulted loans, the less there was for grants to Island residents and business owners.
As such, new applications for loans will no longer be accepted. Applications that had already been received by the OEE will continue to be processed.
Since it opened in 2008, the Office of Energy Efficiency says it has provided more than $3.3 million in grants to 4600 residential clients. It offers a free weatherization service, which has helped 2200 low-income households reduce their heating costs by an average of $350 annually. The OEE has also helped 442 businesses reduce their energy consumption.
All Island property owners are eligible to apply, says the government, with some targeted programs available for those with low incomes.