Alberta preparing homeowner energy efficiency rebate program for this fall

Alberta is preparing a rebate program to encourage homeowners to purchase energy-efficient appliances and help the province reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EDMONTON — Alberta is preparing a rebate program to encourage homeowners to purchase energy-efficient appliances and help the province reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment Minister Robin Campbell said the program would cost up to $30 million in the first year. He wants to make the announcement in early October.

“We are looking at incentives for residential homes. Looking at people replacing their furnaces, fridges, washer-dryers,” he said.

“One of the holdups right now that we are still discussing is if we could make a big enough incentive for some people … (who) wanted to look at solar for their homes.”

The money for the program would come from a fund that large industrial companies pay into when they can’t meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The government would pay part of the cost of energy efficient upgrades based on receipts submitted by homeowners, Campbell said.

A similar program in Alberta that ran between 2009 and 2012 issued more than 173,000 rebates worth more than $52 million.

The provincial government has been under pressure from conservation groups to take new measures to help reduce Alberta’s carbon footprint.

The Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance issued a report in January that noted the province is the only jurisdiction in Canada or the United States that doesn’t offer homeowners and businesses financial incentives to become more energy efficient.

The alliance followed up its report with the results of an Ipsos Reid survey it commissioned. The poll suggested 77 per cent of Albertans surveyed last month supported using money from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund to improve the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings.

Jesse Row, the alliance’s executive director, said Campbell’s plan would be a good first step that could be expanded in the future. He said the $30 million would save consumers about $100 million over the life of the appliance upgrades.

Such programs not only reduce energy consumption, Row said, they also encourage people to think about the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“Incentive programs have a history of both helping people take action and raising awareness around the issue,” Row said Thursday.

“Just going out with information programs without incentives — people don’t pay as much attention.”

The alliance includes the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, Suncor Energy (TSX:SU), Atco Gas (TSX:ACO.X), Shell Canada (TSX:SHC), the Pembina Institute, the Canada Green Building Council and other businesses and groups.

Under Alberta law, large industrial greenhouse gas emitters must reduce their emissions intensity by 12 per cent below their 2004-2005 baseline intensity.

Companies that can’t meet the requirement must either buy carbon credits from other Alberta-based organizations or pay $15 into the climate change fund for every tonne over the limit.

Campbell said the government is considering increasing the $15 carbon price as it looks at updating its climate change strategy.

“We are having a fiery robust discussion right now within our own government as to what that is going to look like,” he said. “I hope to have a seamless transition this fall.”

Alberta has collected more than $400 million in the climate change fund since it was created in 2007. Since then, about $240 million has been spent on projects and research aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.

The government’s original climate change plan announced in 2008 set a goal of reducing Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 megatonnes by 2020.

Just Posted

Rimbey RCMP searching for suspects in break and enter spree

Rimbey RCMP are looking for a pair of culprits behind five break… Continue reading

Stolen vehicle and gun seized in Blackfalds

Blackfalds man to appear in court

Blood moon over Red Deer

Moon captures attention

China grants Ivanka Trump 5 trademarks amid trade talks

SHANGHAI — The Chinese government has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval… Continue reading

Few signs of breakthrough as May set to unveil Brexit Plan B

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May was set to unveil her new… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Olympian Adam van Koeverden wins federal Liberal nomination in Ontario riding

MILTON, Ont. — Former Olympic flag-bearer Adam van Koeverden will be carrying… Continue reading

World champion Osmond says it’s “really nice” not to know what future holds

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Kaetlyn Osmond has a world title, Olympic medals… Continue reading

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Timberlake pops in on patients at Texas children’s hospital

DALLAS — Justin Timberlake has pulled some sunshine from his pocket for… Continue reading

UK police speak to Prince Philip about not wearing seatbelt

LONDON — British police have spoken with Prince Philip after the husband… Continue reading

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Most Read