Many Nova Scotians will receive financial help with the rising cost of energy for their homes a month ahead of schedule through Your Energy Rebate, a new provincial program announced today, Oct. 30, by Premier Rodney MacDonald. Effective Friday, Dec. 1, Nova Scotians who heat their homes with oil, wood, wood pellets, propane, kerosene or coal will be eligible for a rebate of eight per cent — the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax (HST). The sales tax rebate for electricity and natural gas will come into force on Jan. 1, 2007. “Our new program is called Your Energy Rebate because it gives Nova Scotians real savings on their energy costs at home,” said Premier MacDonald. “With this year’s budget, the government gave Nova Scotians a well-deserved break on their home energy costs and we are taking action to bring those savings to them a month earlier.” Your Energy Rebate will appear automatically for customers on their home heating oil, home delivery of propane, natural gas or electricity bills. The average Nova Scotia household can be expected to save $200 per year. For fiscal year 2006-07, Your Energy Rebate is expected to save Nova Scotians more than $36.5 million. Full year savings will rise to $75 million next year. The measure was introduced by Finance Minister Michael Baker in this year’s budget as a rebate equal to the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax. It was unanimously passed by the legislature in July. “Our members are pleased that the Nova Scotia government has listened to our concerns and moved the date forward to Dec. 1,” said Dave Graham, president of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Oil Heat Association. “This decision will generally make it easier for our oil heat dealers to deliver for customers, rather than in the busy Christmas and New Year’s season.” Nova Scotians who buy wood, wood pellets, coal, cylinder propane or kerosene on or after Dec. 1, must keep their receipts and submit them as part of an application to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations for their eight per cent rebate. Application forms for Your Energy Rebate will be available later in November. “The government is doing everything it can to help customers deal with higher energy costs,” said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “We strongly encourage all Nova Scotians to consider what works best for them, either through a direct savings program like Your Energy Rebate or the many conservation and energy efficiency programs offered by Nova Scotia’s Smart Energy Choices.” For more information on Your Energy Rebate call 424-5200 in metro Halifax, call toll-free at 1-800-670-4357 or see the website at www.yourenergyrebate.ns.ca .