The federal government has launched the SME Project Stream which will direct income generated from the federal carbon tax to a rebate program aimed at assisting small and medium-sized businesses in reducing energy use, saving money and/or reducing GHG emissions.
The program will provide a rebate of up to 25% for projects between $80,000 - $1 million. This rebate program is stackable with the newly created Accelerated Investment Incentiveand other rebate programs from Saskatchewan Crown Corporations to a maximum of 100%.
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce applauded the announcement, in a release, and encouraged business to take advantage of the investment incentives for new equipment and energy retrofits to improve energy efficiency.
Yorkton Chamber of Commerce executive director Juanita Polegi said While the Yorkton Chamber Board has not had a chance to discuss the Energy Rebate program, the local organization echoes many of the comments made by the Sask Chamber.
First and foremost, “the Yorkton Chamber does not support a carbon tax,” she noted, adding “The Yorkton Chamber does not believe a carbon tax will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
That said Polegi said the Yorkton Chamber “does encourage its member businesses to apply for the rebate program as they endeavour to become more energy efficient,” adding “as the program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, the Yorkton Chamber urges its member businesses not to delay in submitting their applications .”
Energy efficiency continues to be a priority for the Saskatchewan Chamber, noted the provincial organization’s release, as it provides significant cost savings and allows businesses to be more competitive.
“No business should be incurring unnecessary energy costs and this rebate program is an opportunity for businesses across the province to become more energy efficient and save money. We encourage Saskatchewan businesses to apply for rebate programs to improve competitiveness and reduce emissions,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce in the release.
While the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce does not support a carbon tax and does not believe it is the best way to reduce GHG emissions and minimize Saskatchewan’s carbon footprint, the Chamber is an advocate for energy efficiency and encourages businesses to take advantage of the SME Project Stream rebate program as soon as possible. More than $21 million of funding has been made available for Saskatchewan SMEs but these funds are strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and represents the interests of 10,000 businesses across the province through the Chamber network.