Advertisement
Advertisement
ontarionewswatch.com NEWSROOM

                                    

                              The New Carbon Tax Can Mean A Greener 2017


 

By Terri Chu

Christmas came a little late for me this year.  I woke up New Year’s Day and looked out the window at the gas station sign.  The ever slightly higher gas price was a pleasant reminder of the new carbon tax that Ontarians are now paying and I couldn’t be happier. Natural gas will be impacted about 7 cents a cubic meter and gasoline about 4 cents a litre. 

This is truly a great day for our children. It’s a small but important step in the right direction. 

Until we see carbon tax around the $60-$70 a ton mark, we likely won’t see a big uptake in alternative fuels, particularly in the corporate sector where the bottom line is king.  Polluting is still too cheap relatively.  However, having a tax infrastructure in place is a hugely important step to getting there. Price signals are one of the most important things we can do in a capitalist economy. 

Rather than complaining about the marginal increase in costs, here are a few things we can do to lower our carbon footprint and reduce those pesky taxes we have to pay.

1) Turn down the thermostat:

Older homes are notoriously not airtight.  If you are doing a renovation, make sure you get your home well insulated (spray foam is my preference).  Short of that, anything you can do to stop draughts is a good stopgap until you do decide to renovate.  In the meantime, keep the thermostat down and throw on an extra sweater.  Ambient room temperatures have steadily risen over the last century as heating became easier, cheaper, and more efficient.  We really don’t need to keep it as warm as most of us do. A friend of mine keeps her electrically heated home at a brisk 14C. 

At 7 cents tax/m3 of natural gas, turning down the thermostat will save you money in 2017.

2) Drive slower:

If you have a lead foot like I do, you are burning gas unnecessarily.  For most cars, fuel efficiency kicks in at around 80 km/h.  Taking the 401 at 120 km/h burns a lot more gas than you really need to.  You would do well by accelerating gently and keeping the tire pressure up too.  If you can though, ditching the car altogether is your best bet.  Our family hasn't looked back since we did this nearly nine years ago. 

3) Take shorter showers

Most of us use natural gas for heating domestic hot water.  The shower will start to cost a few cents more with the tax so this is the time to implement self-discipline when enjoying the beautiful warmth wash all over us.  For anyone doing a major renovation that can include plumbing work, this is a good time to consider heat recovery systems for showering as well. Rather than going directly out to the sewer, your already warm shower water pre-warms the cold water going up to you so you need less hot water by the time it gets to the mixer. 

I wish everyone a happy 2017 and I hope we can all embrace these price signals as opportunities to practice greener habits ourselves.  May this be the year we start taking real action to slow down the extinction of the human race. 

Posted date : January 05, 2017
ontarionewswatch.com NEWSROOM
There's plenty of it going on in Canadian politics, not just the U.S. We asked Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin how politicians need to conduct themselves - and avoid ending their careers.
November 22, 2017
Funding needs to be higher and long term to mitigate damages from climate change. It shouldn't just be about getting the Liberals re-elected.
November 19, 2017
The renegotiation of NAFTA resumes this week in Mexico City. What does Canada have to do to save NAFTA - or should it bother? Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin weigh in.
November 14, 2017
A recent series of lectures in Toronto might help Prime Minister Trudeau's search for an path towards reconciliation with Canada's First Nations.
November 12, 2017
Justin Trudeau's fundraiser and former Liberal PMs Jean Chretien and Paul Martin are linked to companies with holdings in offshore tax havens. Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin debate.
November 08, 2017
While populists in some countries say immigration and freer trade have caused inequality inside nations, globally it's a different story. More migration helps.
November 06, 2017
Should all of Justin Trudeau's cabinet ministers - not just Bill Morneau - be required to put their holdings in a blind trust? Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin debate.
October 31, 2017
Critics of Ontario's Basic Income pilot project say the fact it's not universal means it won't achieve economic security where jobs are perilous and scarce.
October 26, 2017
Can indexing the Child Benefit to inflation as Canada enjoys a booming economy change the channel for beleaguered Finance Minister Morneau? Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin are in The Salon.
October 25, 2017
"Evidence-based" decision making is good, but there is much that is not quantifiable to show that bike lanes on Bloor Street should stay.
October 15, 2017
The Liberals are lowering the small business tax rate to 9% as of 2019 as the Finance Minister faces possible conflict of interest accusations. Mahoney, Stewart and Parkin discuss.
October 14, 2017
Critics say Canada is getting beaten up by the Trump administration in the NAFTA negotiations. Is the "charm offensive" failing? Mahoney, Capobianco and Parkin debate.
October 11, 2017