As of April 1, the federal carbon tax established to meet Canada’s emission reduction goals will bring implications to Ontario residents.
Wondering what the new carbon tax will mean for condominium Boards, property managers and unit owners? We’ve got the details for your below!
The Background on Ontario’s New Carbon Tax
At the 2015 Paris Global Climate Conference, emission reduction goals were set in order to meet federal climate change benchmarks.
Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan failed to set up provincially run carbon tax plans of their own, so the federal government intervened – bringing rise to the new carbon tax.
Although New Brunswick already had a previously implemented tax, the federal government disbelieved that the province was on track to meeting federal climate change benchmarks. This led to the implementation of the April 1 carbon tax being introduced there, too.
Since other areas of Canada already have some type of approved emission reduction plan in place, they will not be impacted by the new tax.
The Targets of the Carbon Tax
Although it may not seem like it, we as the consumer is not who the carbon tax is meant to affect – large industrial facilities and fuel companies are the targets.
As of January 2019, industrial facilities that produce more than 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually started paying a tax on the carbon dioxide they produce.
April 2019 brings the second phase of the tax implementation – this time hitting fuel companies. By 2022, the price on carbon pollution will add 11.6 cents per litre to the price of gasoline and bring similar increases to diesel, aviation gasoline and aviation turbo fuel.
The Implications of the New Carbon Tax
Although industrial facilities and companies will be the ones taxed directly, the costs are expected to be passed on to consumers via their electricity and heating bills.
In the end, an estimated $244 is estimated to be paid out annually by Ontario households.
A rebate – available on the 2018 tax return – will reimburse Canadians for up to 90 percent of the tax revenue. Almost three-quarters of Canadians in the four provinces affected are expected to be reimbursed for more than they pay out since fuels costs will increase to include the new tax.
Residents who use more energy or take public transit may experience the highest financial impact. Overall, though, the new carbon tax is not expected to change the behaviour of the average Canadian.
But businesses and firms not receiving a government rebate? Experts predict that they may be the first to make changes to reduce their costs.
The Carbon Tax and the Condo Community
Condominiums that use natural gas could see some implications of the carbon tax, but not in a bad way – at least not right away.
An application brought forward by natural gas utility companies to increase rates has yet to be approved by the Ontario Energy Board. Instead, the regulatory body actually enacted a rate decrease of approximately six percent to natural gas rates.
The end result? Natural gas bills are actually less expensive as of April 1!
For more ways to save on your energy costs as a condominium board member or manager, consider working with Canadian Design and Construction. We know how to improve the efficiency of your building’s air conditioning and heating system to decrease your building’s overall operating costs! Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation!
By Sarah McKenzie