Alberta Efficiency Programs Cut GHGs by 5.7 Megatonnes, Save $692 Million Over Two Years
Energy Efficiency Alberta is earning praise at the national level, even as it faces an uncertain future in its home province, after reporting C$692 million in energy savings, $850 million in economic impact, and 5.7 million tonnes of potential greenhouse gas emission reductions over its first two years of operation.
“Alberta’s actually keeping up with many of the provinces,” even though it was the last jurisdiction in North America to introduce an energy efficiency plan, said Efficiency Canada Executive Director Corey Diamond.
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“Within just two years, to see them playing at a similar level as many of the provinces that have been doing it for 20 years, it’s impressive to us.”
CBC says highlights from the Energy Efficiency Alberta annual report included:
• A $101-million investment in household programs that delivered $534 million in energy savings and reduced emissions;
• $88 million in commercial, industrial and non-profit programs that saved $200 million;
• $17.5 million invested in 1,500 solar projects that saved $37 million in the residential and commercial sectors;
• 214,000 individuals and groups participated in energy efficiency programs.
Diamond urged Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government to look beyond the carbon tax that funded the initial energy efficiency work the province needed.
“Sometimes energy efficiency gets lumped into and gets caught in the political crossfire of discussions around big policy issues, like carbon taxes,” he told CBC. But “we see a massive influx of jobs being created in doing the work that’s required.” Moreover, “every business in Alberta is better off if they’re using energy efficiency programs, because obviously they’re reducing their costs, reducing waste.”
But in a statement emailed to CBC, Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon sounded a decidedly more sour note about the agency’s future. While the government is still reviewing “what is possible given the province’s overall financial picture,” he said, “Albertans have made it resoundingly clear that they are not interested in government spending their hard-earned tax dollars on low-flow showerheads and light bulbs.”