It’s been a big year for energy efficiency in Alberta

Today, I am very pleased to share Energy Efficiency Alberta’s first Annual Report with Albertans. As an agency, we have been hard at work designing and delivering programs to help families and businesses save money; support and grow the province’s energy-efficiency sector to create jobs and diversify the economy; and support efforts to encourage energy-efficiency across this province.

When I joined Energy Efficiency Alberta in April 2017, I had high expectations of the agency, and I am happy to report that we are delivering on its promised potential. Not only have we done the work of setting up the agency, we have implemented programs that are exceeding expectations to drive action and produce real results.

With our programs now in market for a full year, we are able to produce a report that shares our progress, financials and program results.

This report also clearly demonstrates that Albertans are eager to make energy-efficient changes. Individuals from every community responded to incentives to become more energy efficient. In a single year, with the support of our committed partners, we have installed more than 13 million energy-efficient products that saved Albertans more than $300 million in energy savings—a $3 return on every dollar invested. As a province we have embraced energy efficiency and solar, resulting in the reduction of 3.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption cut back by more than 12 million cubic metres, and more than 2,300 new jobs being created.

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s incentives reduced energy costs for organizations and increased productivity and competitiveness. Businesses were able to reduce their operating costs through improved energy efficiency, reinvesting those savings into other parts of the business. Our Business Energy Savings program saw more than 1,300 projects completed, resulting in more than $28 million saved for local Alberta businesses.

The past year produced big numbers that all Albertans can be proud of. But it’s the little stories I hear every day that make this success meaningful. Stories of home improvement companies that are hiring more people and growing their profits, driven by the incentives they can now provide their customers. And homeowners who are saving money by completing simple upgrades—making their homes more comfortable.

Here are a few ways to look at the impact of greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy in our province:

  • Our programs are saving the equivalent of powering 694,000 homes for one year – that’s all the homes in a city the size of Calgary!
  • We helped conserve 12 million cubic metres of water—enough to fill 4,744 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Our solar program generated over 4.8 MW of capacity and reduced emissions equivalent to taking more than 20,000 cars off the road.

It’s clear it has been a big year for energy efficiency—and we’re just getting started.

We continue to refine, expand, and evolve our current programs. We have introduced new incentives to reduce methane emissions, no-charge installations for Albertans living in affordable housing units, a Home Energy Plan to provide deeper home energy savings, and an expansion of our program to help non-profits. We are also continuing to support energy efficiency education for youth, newcomers, and seniors, as well as technical training for industry professionals. And, of course, we are always seeking input from the public, industry and our partners to improve our programs to better meet the needs of Albertans.

It is very important to me to thank the dedicated people who have made all of this progress possible—our Board, Energy Efficiency Alberta staff, our tremendous partners and supporters. They have enthusiastically supported a vision that saw energy efficiency as not just a “nice to have”, but as essential for Alberta. We are grateful for your support, perseverance and advice.

Energy Efficiency Alberta is looking forward to a tremendous year ahead. Alberta families and businesses can expect to benefit even more from new energy efficiency opportunities. The momentum is building—and we’re just getting started.

Monica Curtis

CEO, Energy Efficiency Alberta