OTTAWA (Sept. 28, 2023) — Heating needs to be affordable for everyone, not just the wealthy. As the House of Commons continues to debate C-56, The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, the Canadian Propane Association (CPA) is calling on Members of Parliament to make life more affordable for Canadians this winter by eliminating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from home energy bills.
“Heating is not a luxury in Canada,” said CPA President and CEO Shannon Watt. “It should be categorized under the same tax bracket as essential items such as groceries, prescription drugs and agricultural products, which are fundamental goods and services. Heating is a fundamental necessity in Canada.”
The CPA has been recommending that the federal government make the GST zero-rated for residential energy since 2021. With C-56 presently before the House, this is a great opportunity to amend the Excise Tax Act to treat essential residential heating such as propane, in the same manner as essential groceries – exempt from the GST.
Currently, residential energy is subject to the GST. Modifying the Tax Act would entail classifying low-emission propane and other home energies that are marketed exclusively to domestic consumers for residential purposes as zero-rated. The zero rate could apply to residential houses, condominiums and other similar dwellings, senior care facilities, hospices, school and university residential accommodations, religious communities, such as monasteries, as well as armed forces housing.
“Affordability in Canada is an ongoing challenge. With high interest rates, increased food prices, and soaring rental costs, tackling heating costs is one direct way to address the higher cost of living,” said Watt. “We saw the hardships homeowners faced in paying residential energy bills last winter. The federal government, working with the provinces, can take an important leadership role by eliminating the GST from residential energy bills.
“Removing as much as a 15 percent tax from home energy bills would be warmly welcomed by Canadians from coast to coast,” said Watt.