Lacombe has an energetic idea

Lacombe has sweetened the pot in a bid to generate more interest in the community’s electricity retailing partnership.

Lacombe has sweetened the pot in a bid to generate more interest in the community’s electricity retailing partnership.

Through an agreement with Calgary-based Utilitynet, the City of Lacombe will receive a portion of the sales proceeds that will go into a fund for community projects when residents sign up with the power retailer through the Echo Energy program.

A modest goal of 250 customers was set for the first year, but so far only about 70 have signed up, well short of the 120 half-year target, said Guy Lapointe, Lacombe’s community and economic development officer.

“Initial response was really positive but we did get some feedback on ways to improve the program,” said Lapointe.

To lure more residents to switch from their current supplier, rates were lowered and a required $100 deposit for residents and $500 deposit from businesses was dropped.

As of June 1, the rate was dropped to 7.49 cents per kilowatt hour from 7.95 cents for residents and businesses. A special seniors rate went to 7.29 cents from 7.49 cents.

Lapointe said the energy retailing idea has been well received but switching energy retailers tends not to be high on people’s priority lists.

“Everybody I’ve talked to is encouraged and wants to get on board — but there’s no rush.

“What I’m trying to convey to people is the sooner they can make that switch, the better it is and then that money can roll back into the community and benefit community projects.”

Part of the city’s challenge is to remind residents that the money raised does not go into general coffers but to a specific fund for community projects. Both fixed and variable rates are available, another point of confusion for some.

Under the agreement approved by council last month, the city is responsible for marketing and signing up customers. The city will purchase power through Echo Energy, which will handle billing.

When the project was rolled out late last year, the city projected it would receive about $23,000 in profits based on 250 customers and an 11 cents kw/h rate, which is higher than current rates.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Most Read