Chair of Energy Efficiency Alberta stops by St. Albert

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The chair of the Energy Efficiency Alberta board stopped by St. Albert last week to help residents understand the energy savings government programs.

St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud hosted an energy efficiency open house to help her constituents better understand how to navigate the new government programs rolling out and invited David Dodge, Chair of the board.

Energy Efficiency Alberta recently launched the first of four energy savings programs. The at-home residential savings program allows for Albertans to have high-efficiency shower heads, faucet aerators, LED lights, advanced power bars and smart thermostats installed in their home at no cost.

“Invite us to your home and we will send an energy adviser to your home for free,” Dodge said. “The idea is that we are going to reach Albertans directly and get them jazzed about energy efficiency and then they are going to follow our future programs. This is tried and true methodology.”

Dodge said that Alberta is the last jurisdiction in North America to create an energy efficiency program and the programs being rolled out draw from the experience of other regions.

Home visits for the first program begin this week and so far more than 60,000 people have signed up. The initiative is expected to save an average of $112 for every house that opts for the installation. Dodge said that every dollar of carbon levy money that is spent in the first program will give Albertans back $1.30.

“It makes sense, it pays back and it’s just the beginning,” Dodge said. “In the long run, we have a lot of low hanging fruit in Alberta.”

In the coming months, Energy Efficiency Alberta will be rolling out two more programs to help residents save on their energy bills. The next one, rolling out in spring 2017, will give residents rebates on their larger ticket items, such as appliances, insulation and windows.

A third program will target non-profits and businesses and give them rebates on efficient lighting, heating and ventilation products. That program will roll out in early May 2017.

Right now Dodge and the board is still deciding what the next round of programs will look like. Much of the decision making will come down to what will get them the most bang for their buck. He anticipates programs for businesses, small industries and more sophisticated programs for retrofits to roll out eventually.

The board will track the new programs and evaluate their effectiveness. The results will be made public after one year.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.