Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

The federal government plans to reduce the carbon-price burden on small businesses with rebate payments to partially cover the cost of making energy-efficiency upgrades.

Starting April 1, the federal carbon price of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide will be charged on fossil-fuel inputs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario — the four provinces without their own carbon pricing systems.

The price increases by $10 each year until it reaches $50 a tonne in 2022 when it will be subject to review.

Monique Moreau, vice-president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), said the rebates would help companies that need energy efficiency upgrades.

Moreau added that getting energy-efficiency rebates will not be easy and requires spending for an energy audit. Unfortunately, banks may not be the answer as they have made it known they do not want to lend money the upgrades.

The CFIB is not in favor of the carbon tax bill because it’s another hit to businesses after the Canada Pension Plan contributions which will increase yearly in the next five years. Moreau said that the reduction in employment-insurance premiums didn’t offset the increase in pension-plan costs.

McKenna has spent most of March visiting the four provinces to promote the climate incentive payments for individuals, which vary from $128 to $305 for a single adult, and $256 to $609 for a family of four. The payments are different per province based on the sources of energy.