Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin has announced C$19 million in rebates to help people buy electric vehicles and to assist low-income families in making their homes more energy efficient.
In Halifax, the Ecology Action Centre said it was “encouraged” by Rankin’s announcement, but cautioned that “aspects of the province’s plan require more ambition and clarity. Notably missing from the announcement was any mention of either nature-based climate solutions or the inaccurate and dangerous categorization of large-scale biomass as a renewable energy source.”
In a release, the province said $9.5 million will be used for the rebate program for new and used electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and e-bikes, The Canadian Press reports.
The rebates will provide $3,000 per new vehicle, $2,000 for used vehicles, and $500 for e-bikes, and will be in addition to the $5,000 federal rebate available for new electric vehicles. According to the government, there are nearly 500 electric vehicles registered in Nova Scotia and more than 100 charging stations across the province.
The other half of the funding is to go to an energy efficiency program that the government says will help an additional 1,200 lower-income Nova Scotians keep their homes warm.
Rankin also said his government will announce details next month of a new energy standard aimed at ensuring 80% of the province’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030.
The Ecology Action Centre greeted the announcement with one hand clapping. “There is much work ahead if this government is to live up to its commitment to support communities through transformative change that is needed to address the climate and biodiversity crises, but this is a good start,” Senior Climate Policy Coordinator Kelsey Lane said in a release.
“Emissions from transportation account for 27% of our provincial greenhouse gas emissions,” and “electric vehicle incentives are critical to driving electric vehicle uptake in Nova Scotia and ensuring that more people can access clean transportation options,” Lane added. Ben Grieder, the centre’s energy efficiency coordinator, called energy retrofit investment “one of the most effective ways our province can do its part to combat climate change”.
The EAC cited its own 2019 electricity report that showed how the province can achieve a 90% renewable grid by 2030, while phasing out coal completely.
The main segment of this report by The Canadian Press was first published February 24, 2021.