Whitehorse Daily Star

Power, firewood rebates unveiled

The Yukon government has announced financial help for electricity consumers and firewood purchasers.

By Whitehorse Star on September 28, 2022

The Yukon government has announced financial help for electricity consumers and firewood purchasers.

The $150 Inflation Relief Rebate has been expanded to reduce the impacts that inflation continues to have on Yukoners, the government said Tuesday.

The rebate will be applied automatically to all residential and commercial ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy bills, regardless of usage.  

The rebate will appear as a $50 credit each month for an additional three months, on all residential and commercial electricity customers’ bills, from October to December.

“Although electricity rates in the Yukon remain the lowest in the North, Yukoners and local businesses continue to feel the rising costs of essential items such as groceries and fuel,” said John Streicker, the minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corp.

“Expanding the Inflation Relief Rebate is one of the ways we are helping reduce Yukoners’ monthly expenses. Individuals, families and businesses will see a total reduction of $150 from their electrical bills over the next three months.”

This rebate is in addition to the existing Interim Electrical Rebate, which reduces the amount residential customers pay on their first 1,000 kilowatt hours each month, saving Yukoners up to $270 a year. 

This morning, the government launched a new rebate to offset higher costs of firewood for home heating.

The rebate, available to Yukon households, provides $50 for each cord of firewood purchased, to a maximum of 10 cords. Wood is selling for up to $500 per cord.

Applicants must submit a proof of delivery form signed by their firewood supplier when applying for the rebate.

It’s available for firewood bought between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

For more information and to download a proof of delivery form, visit https://yukon.ca/firewood-rebate.

“Yukon homeowners relying on firewood to heat their homes are experiencing higher prices this year,” said Streicker, speaking as the minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.

“This new rebate will help alleviate some of those additional expenses as we work with the commercial timber harvesting industry to provide a stable and consistent long-term supply of firewood.”

The supplier must have a valid Yukon corporate registration number.

Comments (31)

Up 13 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Oct 1, 2022 at 10:16 am

Has anybody been keeping score on the Liberal's big energy report card?
One has to wonder whatever will they screw up next?

Up 27 Down 5

Salt on Sep 30, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Just waiting on the inevitable release of a 'proposed' new timber harvesting policy by the current radical leftists and their fellow travelers in FN governance, that promotes the goals of reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People by giving FN's more leverage over Canadians on 'Traditional Territories', otherwise known as Canada.

Up 7 Down 26

Save the Trees on Sep 30, 2022 at 11:39 am

Looks like you've cut all the trees down in your neck of the woods.

That's what happens with unrestricted population growth, sky high energy taxes and a 'free' natural resource.
You need to tax the trees more to level the energy playing field. Only then will people be able to choose the their best fuel source free from economic distortion.

Up 38 Down 1

Nowud Foh U on Sep 30, 2022 at 7:43 am

“This new rebate will help alleviate some of those additional expenses as we work with the commercial timber harvesting industry to provide a stable and consistent long-term supply of firewood.” said John Streiker.

Well John, I am curious as to the ongoing work you are doing to provide a stable and consistent long-term supply of firewood. I personally know a guy who has been in the firewood business for over 20 years in the yukon, nearly fulltime, and he has yet to hear peep number one from your department, no phonecalls, no visits, nothing. So whoever you are "working with", it certainly isn't him.

Whenever he has applied for a commercial permit, he has been stonewalled or presented with the same permitting process which MacMillan Bloedel goes through, in other words a two inch thick stack of paper, and if successful, a permit to cut GREEN trees in a clearly defined area.

The situation is ridiculous as we live in a literal sea of wood, much of it standing dead.

So again, what exactly does your "work" involve, other than making it impossible for yukon woodcutters to do the grueling work necessary to provide heat for yukon homes?

I will also mention here, the obvious to most of us fact, that some people might quite possibly freeze to death if their homes are not properly heated by this most abundant locally available source this winter. And a personal permit will be mostly useless in the hands of someone who is wheelchair bound.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Getting out of the way, would be the best way of "working with commercial fuelwood providers" at this point, it would seem.

Up 10 Down 7

Josey Wales on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:48 pm

Hey Fritz the cutter of wood...
“Reich wingnuts.” wtf...o? Those were your people, your kin, your fatherland.
The other folks just disagree with you and your aryan arrogance.

Up 22 Down 6

Jim on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:22 pm

Just imagine if everyone started to burn wood. Do we not remember the days when we used to have no- burn days? Usually the coldest ones. Plus the firewood shortage that would be even worse. A lot of homes don’t have 2x8 walls or a foot or more of insulation in the ceiling. On a cold month you can run through a tank of oil no problem. I’ve seen some of these older houses converted to electric baseboard and they are the coldest places I’ve ever rented. But some of the comments are applauding the government loans to retrofit. So the answer apparently is to increase one’s debt load during an inflation and most likely a recession. Plus have you priced out the materials or tried to find a contractor? How about just remove the carbon tax for starters. You all realize that the NDP/Liberals have voted for a tax increase on fuel. You also realize that NWT does not pay carbon tax on heating fuel. They stated it was a necessity and should not apply.

Up 25 Down 9

Dallas on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Hmm well I can’t wait till the revolution starts and Liberal and NDP politicians are running for they’re lives but then again this territory has dummied up and voted the clowns in not once but twice. Oh well, I have firewood and lots of it and elk, deer and moose running around my property and I can’t hunt them, can’t get the government to maintain the road but I pay taxes on road access. Like I’ve said before, the city the territory and the country are f###ked and the common denominator is the Liberals. Like I said I can’t wait for the revolution to start.

Up 18 Down 3

Charlie's Aunt on Sep 29, 2022 at 5:34 pm

This $50 per cord, with a limit of 10 cords is stupid. If I'm a person who normally buys 2 cords, should I buy 10 (if I can find a supplier) and stock pile it, just to get the maximum rebate? Why don't they just give everyone $500 against whatever type of heating they have.

Up 10 Down 2

Woodcutter on Sep 29, 2022 at 5:12 pm

Is I the only Firewood cutter with two permits?

Up 41 Down 8

North_of_60 on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:26 pm

The cost of fuel to harvest and deliver that firewood is significant. It would be far more 'inclusive' and 'equitable', not to mention fair and honest, for the LIBgov to simply drop the ridiculous climate tax on all fuel so everyone benefits.
The fact that they won't speaks volumes about their ideological agenda.

Up 33 Down 3

yukonlibby on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:43 pm

To the commenters who are talking about oil usage and how much is normal or acceptable, you obviously don't rent. When you rent, you get what you get. Wind blows through the walls, I can't get a grant or a loan to reinsulate the house, only my landlord can. I can't replace the furnace. All I can do is pay the bill to heat my home. It's not like there's a plethora of pet friendly, reasonably priced, housing options out there.

Up 21 Down 4

Oya on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:03 pm

@ Thick Wool Yes, what exactly HAS the Dept of Economic Development been doing these last few years???

Up 46 Down 4

Bruce Bark on Sep 29, 2022 at 1:42 pm

The lunacy continues. So now we have the Yukon taxpayer buying firewood for Yukoners because the Yukon Government has shuttered the private firewood industry. How does this make sense? I guess it makes about as much sense as the taxpayer paying to plant 2 billion trees when Mother Nature has been doing it for free for millions of years. I have 5 seedlings presently coming up my yard, I didn't plant them, Trudeau didn't plant them, so I guess I have Mother Nature to thank.
A CBC article posted Jan 11 2022 quotes Minister Steicker "the Forest Resource Branch worked over the summer, so we got a few permits in place and then we got Quill Creek Timber Harvest Plan WHICH IS ABOUT 15 YEARS WORTH OF SUPPLY IN PLACE". What happened??
What Minister Streicker neglected to mention was that Quill Creek is off limits to harvesting from April 1st to late fall due to site sensitivity. Summer harvesting is much cheaper, due to ease on equipment, road maintenance (snow removal), and lets face it.......it's much safer working in the daylight rather than the long dark days of a Yukon winter.
In 2014 Hurlburt Industries was heavily invested in the firewood business. They brought in a processing machine from Wisconsin at huge expense and geared themselves up to corner the firewood market putting the "hobby firewood cutter" out of business.
Hurlburt are no longer in the firewood business, permitting for woodlots involved way to much "red tape" and the business was sold to The Yukon Timber Company, who proudly promote their business as an Indigenous woman owned company who harvest firekill pine and spruce from Kaska traditional territory near Watson Lake. Hurlburt harvested beetle kill firewood from the Haines Junction area a mere 155 kms from Whitehorse. The Yukon Timber Co. harvest firewood on Hwy 37 near Watson Lake, 600kms from Whitehorse. No surprise firewood is now $500/cord.
According to a July 10 2022 CBC article "Yukon is experiencing a record number of fires in the territory to date surpassing the 25 year average" How is it possible we have no supply of firewood then? The lunacy continues. I wonder if having a past president of the Green Party of Canada as our Minister of Energy Mines and Resources has anything to do with high wood prices??

Up 41 Down 3

This will not work! on Sep 29, 2022 at 1:39 pm

If you do not issue permits or refuse to issue permits you create a supply problem. The supply problem leads to woodcutters having to go further a field to find a wood supply thus increasing costs. IF you interfere in the market with a top up of 50$ per cord by helping homeowners pay for wood, you still have a supply problem. The natural response will be for the cost of wood to increase by $ 50 per cord.
YTG created in this problem from the total lack of coordination between departments of government. The people who will suffer will be seniors on fixed income, first nations on marginal income, single parents and low- income wage earners.
The people who will not suffer are the “legions of the blessed”, i.e. the bureaucrats and Cabinet waffles and dare I say real estate agents as well, who earn big bucks producing nothing and feeding off the rest of Yukon humanity.

Up 55 Down 5

maple_mex on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:43 am

The higher cost of wood is due to the lack of commercial firewood permits being issued, which has caused a supply vs demand issue. $50 is a nice gesture from the current government to cover up their inadequacy to issue permits. Would it not make more sense to issue more permits and apply rebates to heating oil as well? This is a bandaid short term fix.

Up 59 Down 4

Thomas Brewer on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:38 am

Considering the government is responsible for the drastic spike in firewood prices due to the 400 or so days it is taking the woodcutters to get a permit, this is nothing but feel good lip service PR from an incompetent bureaucracy.

Up 29 Down 4

Thick Wool on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:33 am

Although the current regime hopes you remember this at voting time, this is a distraction. Rebates and rate cuts have never worked to generate lasting prosperity and their short-term impact is usually no more than symbolic. If you’re upside down on your finances, being a little less in debt on an overdue bill is not actually a big help. More like a tease.

The current generation of leadership has proven themselves inept at bringing any measure of real investment into the territory. The entire boom of the pandemic… the once-in-a-generation returns, the free capital available for start-ups, the need for businesses to move to places with a better quality of life, the work-from-home revolution… so many opportunities wasted.

Neither of the major parties are capable of steering a reasonable course through this. The highest levels of Yukon bureaucrat were directly briefed by major money movers and investors more than a year ago. The Yukon economy cannot be transitioned into a scale economy, so you’re going to need people that understand proposed-base-investing. Which the Yukon does not have.

If more than 50% of the Yukon’s working population is your typical government functionary and there’s no leaders with real vision, where do you think we will end up?

But by all means, let’s keep navel gazing about hurt feelings.

Up 19 Down 12

Happy Dance, what's your electricity bill? on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:53 am

The rebate is for power, not home heating oil. But if your oil lasts only 4-6 weeks, you're burning a 'lot'. Furnace tune-up maybe? A full tank lasts at least twice that long for us, and we don't skimp when it's cold

Up 34 Down 4

Sit, rollover, play dead on Sep 29, 2022 at 9:07 am

Another increment toward universal basic income. Reliance yields compliance.

Up 29 Down 6

YT on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:10 am

Happy Dance, if your fuel oil storage tank is only lasting you a month or so, either get a more efficient furnace, or (and) upgrade your homes insulation package. Seriously, you’ve been dumping money down the drain for years, it’s only now that FO is expensive you’re worrying about it.

Up 11 Down 4

rod on Sep 29, 2022 at 7:40 am

Happy Dance:
I'll take yours then!

Up 38 Down 10

My Opinion on Sep 28, 2022 at 10:41 pm

Perfect Liberal logic.

Subsidize power and wood while taxing the Heii out of hydrocarbons. Why don’t you just drop the tax you Knott Heads?

A smart man once said, Stupid is as Stupid does.

Up 21 Down 22

Woodcutter on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:26 pm

A 1000 litres a month to heat your home? Lmfso, its either a castle or a green house.

The government hands out free cash and still people cry-funny as all beat hell. Enjoying my wood stove but to bad I can't get the $50 per cord. Once again the person that does for himself misses out and gets to listen to the lazy cry baby thats sits back and waits for their cheque to arrive.

Rule #17 - no good deed goes unpunished. Now the libs will be even worse to people in the eyes of the Reich wingnuts.

Up 28 Down 8

Davis on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:25 pm

This seems very short sighted. I would much rather the Government invest this money to ensure we as Yukoners will have access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy in the long term future instead of just giving me $150 right now.

Up 38 Down 4

WTF?! on Sep 28, 2022 at 8:02 pm

This is really nice - $50 rebate per cord.

Now can someone at YG please tell me where exactly I can purchase the wood to utilize the rebate?!?!?!
We’ve been told to not expect wood until LATE SPRING 2023. We’re 87th on a list from another wood cutter.

People need wood right now.

Up 28 Down 7

Max Mack on Sep 28, 2022 at 7:30 pm

@Happy dance

The rebate doesn't apply to home heating fuel, only to electrical (an extra $50 for 3 months = $150) and firewood ($50 x 10 cords = $500).

The Liberals don't care if they tax and inflate home heating oil and gas to death. That's their plan, in fact.

Up 22 Down 3

Yukoner on Sep 28, 2022 at 6:32 pm

@Happy dance
Oil tank, this government doesn't want to hear from you. Maybe if you put some solar panels on your tank you could get a rebate for that.

Up 33 Down 6

Please don’t send help on Sep 28, 2022 at 5:37 pm

Peons, are you getting it yet? The more the government “helps,” the more f***ed we are.

Up 36 Down 7

Peter on Sep 28, 2022 at 5:21 pm

This rebate is a joke!
What an insult to Yukoners! What about getting my money back from Atco Electric after enjoying huge profits, also I want interest on this money! How is YTG going to to pay me for this rebate, by prestamped NSF cheque since they are in the red? Seniors are going to have a very tough winter. Maybe as seniors we should camp out in the YTG building since government enjoys a nice warm office, free parking, a nice cafeteria, free use of taxpayer paid EV station and YTG EV's? How much more do Yukon Taxpayer have to endure to the waste of money by this sitting government?

Up 42 Down 3

I said Pardon on Sep 28, 2022 at 5:13 pm

How Keynesian of you, Mr. Streicker. Do you even know the definition of inflation? Throwing yet more bandaids of cash to solve inflation will do the opposite.
The reason for high wood prices in the Yukon is due to a shortage of supply, courtesy of a lack of cutting permits. Let the woodcutters cut, increase supply, and the price will come down. in other words, let the private sector take care of it, you may find the results encouraging.

Up 70 Down 46

Happy dance on Sep 28, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Let’s see, $2000 to fill the oil tank, lasts maybe a month to a month and a half, which is about $45-60 dollars a day for heating. So happy for this $150 dollars. That covers my heating costs for about 4 days. Thanks!

What a joke.

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