Yukon NDP’s Lane Tredger sends open letter to Energy, Mines and Resources minister following microgeneration ‘pause’


MLA Lane Tredger on Wednesday, Dec. 13, posted the following open letter to Energy, Mines and Resources Minister John Streicker regarding the Yukon Government’s unexpected “pause” on the territory’s microgeneration program:

Minister John Streicker

Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources

Box 2703

Y1A 2C6

Dear Minister Streicker,

I’m writing to share the shock, frustration, and disappointment I’ve been hearing about the “pause” to the Yukon’s microgeneration program that you announced in the Legislature last month.

For years, Yukoners have been installing solar panels on their homes to generate clean, renewable energy. They have been so committed to climate action that they have done this at their own cost, supported by the microgeneration program. For years, the energy from their solar panels has powered their own homes and the extra has powered the homes of other Yukoners.

So it is not surprising that they have been outraged and dismayed since you told the legislature “We’re about to pause the program.”

Many Yukoners have shared their profound disappointment that this program will be “paused” during a climate crisis, when we need more renewable energy to fight climate change.

The solar industry has been thrown into chaos, with many workers wondering if there will still be jobs for them without new home solar installations.

The complete lack of information about who will be affected has left homeowners who were planning to install solar unsure about if or when they’ll be able to do so, and Yukoners who’ve already signed onto the program unsure if they also will be affected.

Everyone, even the electrical utilities, seem to have been caught off guard.

During the recent utility board hearing, not even ATCO officials could elaborate on the “pause” you mentioned. They hadn’t heard about it either, they said.

It seems that everyone has been left in the dark – homeowners, electrical utilities, and solar industry professionals alike.

Many Yukoners have reached out to me for answers. Here’s what they want to know about the “pause,” and the future of small-scale solar in the Yukon.

  1. Why are renewable energy incentives being taken away during a climate crisis?
  2. Can Yukoners still install and receive federal rebates for solar systems? Or, will new home solar projects be blocked from connecting to the grid altogether?
  3. If there are challenges integrating small solar projects into the grid, why weren’t they addressed during the last 10 years the program has been running? This is particularly puzzling, given the Yukon Liberals have been in power for eight of those years.
  4. How will the “pause” impact the solar industry here in the Yukon? Do you expect that there will be layoffs due to the reduction/halting of new solar installations caused by your “pause”?
  5. If there are layoffs due to your “pause,” what will the long-term impact be on the solar industry to install new renewable energy projects in the future?
  6. How will you restore faith in this program? How will you convince Yukoners that it is safe to invest in renewable energy?

The microgeneration program’s success shows that Yukoners are ready and willing to invest in renewable home energy in a time when we desperately need it.  But with one passing comment in the legislature, you have turned the future of that program into a question mark.

None of this passes for climate action. And it’s certainly not the leadership that Yukoners deserve.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Lane Tredger

MLA for Whitehorse Centre

CC: Media