Saskatchewan landlords and developers face a six per cent increase in the price of energy-efficient appliances since the provincial government resumed collecting sales tax on previously exempt ENERGY STAR certified products earlier this month. The move was announced in the recently released Saskatchewan budget, which argued that an incentive first introduced in 2003 is no longer needed to influence consumer behaviour.
“ENERGY STAR certified appliances now dominate the household appliance market and constitute the majority of consumer sales in Canada, with the benefit of permanent energy cost savings providing a strong incentive to choose these appliances,” the budget document states. However, less efficient options are still widely available.
“The retraction of the PST exemption will have multi-unit residential owners and developers weighing the cost/benefit when purchasing appliances,” says Jamie McDougald, president of the Saskatchewan Landlord Association and chief operating officer with Deveraux Developments, a home and condo builder and owner/manager of purpose-built rental housing. “With large developments and bulk purchases, the upfront cost savings experienced by buying appliances that aren’t ENERGY STAR rated might be too enticing for some to pass up.”
Purchasers of ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, residential furnaces, boilers and ground- and air-source heat pumps had enjoyed the PST exemption.
“Some 15 years of PST exemption has had a meaningful positive effect for property owners, industry, energy savings and carbon targets,” submits Ted Kantrowitz, chief executive officer of the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition. “Both affordability and capital efficiency matter.”