LETTER: It’s not easy being green

LETTER: It’s not easy being green

A previous article in the Saanich News states that building green represents a “mindset” that does not necessarily come with a premium. It goes on to say while some measures might carry an initial cost, they will eventually pay off in the long run by reducing operation and maintenance costs.

If building green represents a mindset, it’s a mindset that I do support so much that in 2010 I built green to a level of what today is being considered a net-zero home had I installed solar power, which is a level of efficiency of homes that Saanich is targeting for 2050. And yes, at that time it did carry a somewhat larger initial cost, which will pay off in the long run as they tell us in promoting a green sustainable future for the children of tomorrow.

The thing that everyone should know that they don’t tell you is that by having or installing this green infrastructure such as geo-exchange, heat pumps, etc., the initial cost of the installation is being added directly to your property assessment, which simply means you are paying a hidden tax on that cost of installation every year with your property taxes. So that long-term return that you believe you are getting or going to get every year to recover that cost isn’t happening as they say.

If government is really serious about trying to deal with climate change, and working at promoting and changing the mindset of individuals and communities towards the importance of incorporating green infrastructure, there must be positive, rewarding incentives to move in this extremely important direction.

Taking away this rebate that everyone thinks they are getting through a blind tax is a major disincentive towards promoting energy efficiency as one part of developing sustainable communities.

There should only be tax credits, not more tax on being energy efficient. If there is not a change made towards removing this unfair type of blind tax, then all I can say is that once again stupidity prevails.

Ken Whitcroft