The 4 Hottest Green Energy Trends in Alberta Right Now
The Alberta NDP government says Albertans have saved some $300 million in energy costs and avoided almost three million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 as a result of its energy efficiency programs. In light of these figures, we want to explore today four of the hottest green energy trends taking shape in Alberta right now.
1 – Solar Energy
The Residential and Commercial Solar Program by Energy Efficiency Alberta offers incentives to homeowners, businesses and nonprofits that wish to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Bolstered by other initiatives like the Alberta Municipal Solar Program and the On-Farm Solar PV Program, solar uptake has doubled in the province since 2015. Albertans are keen on solar, and this program keeps the momentum going!
What will the impact of the program be?
By 2019, the Residential and Commercial Solar Program is expected to:
- Support the creation of jobs in Alberta’s solar industry
- Cut solar installation costs by up to 30 per cent for residences
- Cut solar installation costs by up to 25 per cent for businesses and nonprofits
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province by about half a million tonnes—the equivalent of taking 100,000 passenger vehicles off the road
Learn more about the program’s process of installing a solar PV here and about rebate eligible efficiency products for businesses at this link.
And make sure to register for the Alberta Energy Efficiency Summit on May 16 and 17, 2018. With support from Energy Efficiency Alberta, the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance (AEEA) will host this two day event, designed to offer participants a forum to collaborate, learn, network, and receive insights into the latest trends in energy efficiency. Check out the summit’s interactive program at this link!
2 – Green Construction
Calgary was the first Canadian municipality to adopt a sustainable building policy. The Sustainable Buildings Partnership Program was developed to enable compliance with the Sustainable Building Policy by identifying and/or improving the efficiency of existing corporate infrastructure. Under the City of Calgary’s Sustainable Building Policy, all new occupied City-owned and City-funded buildings in excess of 500m2 must meet or exceed the Gold level of the LEED® New Construction rating system.
As described in a previous blog post, submetering is essential in the accumulation of credits necessary to obtain a building LEED® certification, and with a turn-key Hamdon LEED metering system we can help you ramp up those needed credits.
Sustainable Buildings Partnership Program
The City of Calgary developed the Sustainable Buildings Partnership Program (SBPP) to improve the Triple Bottom Line performance of existing City infrastructure and support the Sustainable Building Policy. The program identifies and improves the efficiency of existing corporate infrastructure through the use of audits, alternative energy technologies, conservation and energy efficiency upgrades.
Of the projects deemed sustainable enough to be funded by the SBPP is energy submetering, such as offered at Hamdon.
3 – Green Jobs
A 2016 paper released by Greenpeace Canada, in collaboration with the Alberta Green Economy Network, predicted the creation of the following numbers of jobs across key “green” industries:
|Energy efficiency and conservation||68,400|
|Sustainable transportation||30,000 to 40,000|
|TOTAL||177,410 to 187,410 jobs|
Low oil prices, concerns over climate change and the falling cost of clean power are leading drivers for the shift to the greener side. Since oil prices collapsed in 2014, Canada has lost more than 40,000 jobs in oil, gas and related industries, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Albertan ex-oil workers are afraid of being left behind. Theirs is a labour force rich in skills like project management, procurement, welding and machinery repair, all easily transferable from the oil industry to renewable energy enterprises.
4 – PACE yourself – It’s Green Investment time!
Very recently, Alberta passed legislation to establish a program that will make it easier for Albertans to invest in their homes: Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).
PACE now makes it easy for Albertans to invest in greening their own homes by eliminating the need for the upfront cash needed for energy efficiency upgrades. It allows investment companies to fund individual owners, thus providing the required upfront capital, while generating secure returns for investors.
When you apply for PACE in relation to an efficiency upgrade, the municipality installs the upgrade, while the property owner pays for it through their property taxes. The repayments remain with the property, i.e., if it is sold, the new owners would take on the repayments on their own tax bill.
The main motivation behind people and businesses signing up for this program is that they can invest in their homes and buildings, with savings from upgrades often exceeding the loan payback from day one, without having to come up with the high upfront costs and without having to worry about the amortization time of their investment.
Check out this article for more information on Alberta’s Government driven green trends, like the carbon tax and the coal phase-out policy. Also of note is Alberta’s very own Climate Leadership Plan, designed to diversify the province’s economy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
Don’t get left behind – start greening your building with a reliable submetering system today.