How many government-paid workers does it take to change your light bulbs? You may think this is the set up to a joke, but it turns out the government really is going to change your light bulbs for you.
I read about the new energy efficiency Alberta program, announced this week, and I thought I must have misunderstood how it was going to work. Surely, the government was going to require me to buy my own LED light bulbs, high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, advanced power bars and programmable thermostats, and if I needed help installing them then I could call someone to come by and give me a hand. Nope.
It turns out, all you have to do is register for the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program through efficiencyalberta.ca and the government will not only install them, they will buy them for you too.
But surely, I thought, it will only be available for low income, or fixed income households, who don’t have the means to do it themselves. Nope. Anyone can sign up.
Well then, to be fair, those of us who have already purchased these products and installed them ourselves will be able to write the expense off against our taxes, right? No again.
One listener phoned in and estimated it would cost the government as much as $2,000 if a homeowner was starting from scratch and needed to install everything, that was one offer. It’s rare that you see such a brazen example of a government trying to buy people with their own money. Sadly, it looks like it’s going to work. Another caller said they were so sick of all the tax increases they’ve had in the last two years, they were going to sign up just to get some of it back.
So how many government-paid workers does it take to change your light bulbs? I guess we’re going to find out.