World News – CA – Alberta stumbles on energy efficiency


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Alberta is the last in the nation dead when it comes to saving electricity, a think tank in Ottawa found out, and that’s in no small part because we got rid of our energy efficiency agency.

Efficiency Canada of Carleton University released the Canadian province of Canada energy efficiency scorecard in November 2020. 17th. The report followed the energy efficiency policy in Canada, which was introduced or implemented between January 2019 and June 2020.

The report found that Alberta fell from sixth to eighth nationally in energy efficiency, which was the largest decline in Canada.

Alberta actually did quite well in last year’s report as it had just started its energy efficiency efforts under Energy Efficiency Alberta and was close to the national average in terms of electricity savings, said report co-author Brendan Haley.

« In 2019, Alberta had the lowest savings in the country (measured by) electricity, » he noted, with efficiency efforts only saving 0. 06 percent of total electricity costs – from 0 percent. 8 percent in 2017 and well below the two to three percent in leading American states.

Alberta had the second lowest per capita spending on efficiency programs in Canada last year and the third lowest savings on natural gas and other fuels. There were also no energy efficiency targets.

Alberta’s decline was largely due to the decision to abolish the provincial carbon tax and eliminate energy efficiency. Alberta, which was the cornerstone of its energy efficiency efforts, the report noted. While residents are now subject to federal carbon tax, they no longer have provincial programs to save energy.

In the 2019 provincial elections, solar projects valued at around $ 100 million awaited support from Energy Efficiency Alberta, said Clifton Lofthaug, owner of Great Canadian Solar (which has numerous solar PV systems in the St. . Albert Region). When it disappeared, so did a large part of those projects.

« We’re definitely seeing a decline in opportunities in residential and business, » Lofthaug said, especially since the pandemic broke out.

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s efforts supported around a thousand companies and generated economic growth of around $ 952 million, said Amy Roesler, executive director of the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance. Some of its programs have been outsourced to other agencies, but Alberta does not currently have a nationwide energy efficiency program available to homeowners.

Alberta would see higher costs and more pollution after scaling back its investments in energy efficiency, Haley said.

“The more energy you waste, the more everyone in the province pays to have that energy available. ”

Haley said Alberta could get back on track by asking utility companies to meet a percentage of future energy needs through efficiency measures – a common practice in many states and provinces. It could also adopt the federal government’s upcoming building code (which allows municipalities to require builders to meet a net-zero energy standard) and require sellers to advertise their buildings’ energy usage. Alberta also has Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation that could help home and business owners finance building upgrades more easily.

Haley said energy efficiency could help Alberta’s economic recovery as many labor-intensive building renovations are required. A $ 10. 4 billion federal investments over three years in efficiency efforts would amount to about 175. Create 000 jobs and $ 42. His group estimated that $ 5 billion a year for the economy.

Investing in efficiency could also improve Alberta’s reputation for attracting oil and gas investments, Lofthaug said.

« If we are seen as laggards worldwide from an environmental and energy efficiency perspective, investment dollars for the province will be hard to come by. ”

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World News – CA – Alberta stumbles on energy efficiency


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