Grab a grant, says OBAC

by Canadian Shipper

OTTAWA, Ont.– Applications for grants through Ontario’s Green Commercial Vehicle Program (GCVP) went on-line today, as part of Ontario’s Go Green Action Plan launched in August 2007.

Money available through the GCVP is being allocated to various anti-idle technologies, as well as hybrid and alternative-fuel technologies. Of the $15 million set aside for commercial vehicles,only $2.9 million is earmarked for idle-reduction devices.

The province says it may vary those amounts, at its discretion, based on policy or program considerations. Ontario’s Owner-Operator Business Association, OBAC, is urging Ontario based owner-operators who want to take advantage of the program to file their application forms with the Ministry of Transportation as quickly as they can. Ontario’s GCVP makes grants available to Ontario-based fleets and owner-operators who do at least 20 percent of their miles in the province, run qualified and certified equipment, and who have excellent or satisfactory CVOR records or “good” commercial vehicle driver records.

As the GCVP is retroactive to the announcement date of the program last year, the Ministry will accept applications until January 31, 2009 for eligible green technology acquisitions made after August 2007.

“We’re glad to see the province helping truckers reduce their carbon footprint, but we’re a little disappointed in the amount of money set aside for technologies likely to be used by owner-operators,” says OBAC’s executive director, Joanne Ritchie.

 “The per-unit allowance of roughly one-third of the purchase price is in line with a similar program offered by NRCan several years ago, but the Commercial Transportation Energy Efficiency Rebate handed out $8 million across Canada over two years. I don’t think Ontario’s $2.9 million is going to last four years.”

The NRCan program put 8,800 cab heaters into service, along with 2,500 coolant heaters, 3,300 combo kits (cab heater + coolant heater), and 2,600 APUs. In total, 17,579 units were placed through the rebate program at a total cost to the government of $7.9. Industry invested about $39.5 million in idle reduction technology as part of the rebate program.

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