Alberta set to become leader in Energy Efficiency

Free LED lights, new appliance rebates and business incentives are among the programs coming to Alberta in 2017 to help homes and businesses save energy and money, said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips at a news conference in southeast Calgary Monday afternoon.

The programs are based on the recommendations of a seven-person advisory panel chaired by energy conservation expert David Wheeler.

Based on the input the panel heard from the public, stakeholders and experts, it has come up with four programs to be launched in March and early April.

Phillips said these energy efficiency programs are among “the lowest cost ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions” and will create roughly 50 jobs for every $1 million invested.

Phillips also said “there’s lots of low-hanging fruit in Alberta,” simply because Alberta is “the last jurisdiction in North America to deliver energy efficiency programs.”

New home and business incentives

The first initiative coming to Alberta, a Direct Install program, will install low-cost, energy efficiency products such as LED lights, smart power bars, low-flow shower heads and aerators in homes for free.

Single-family homes and multi-family dwellings at all income levels will be eligible for the program.

A second program will offer cash incentives to entice individuals to purchase and install energy efficient appliances and electronics through online, mail-in and point-of-sale rebates.

The third program is targeted towards businesses and non-profits to reduce their emissions and energy use by offering incentives on products and installation of energy-saving lighting, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and water heating.

The panel also recommended a fourth program, which would lower the cost of installing solar panels on homes and businesses.

The Small Solar Photovoltaic (PV) program would build on programs already available for farms, municipalities, and Indigenous communities by extending the ability to participate in solar PV cells to the rest of the province.

Energy Efficiency Alberta, a new Crown agency launched last fall, will be in charge of designing and delivering the initiatives, as the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan is rolled out.