From Saving Money, to Improving Productivity and Competitiveness, Energy Efficiency is a Smart Investment

Alberta has long been known as an energy province. We can find energy resources, mine them, process them, and transport them. Alberta is a leader in oil and gas, but also in renewables such as solar PV (with our 300+ days of sun), and wind power (in our undeniably windy region). Most recently, Alberta has embraced a crucial (but sometimes overlooked) resource in its resource-based economy; energy efficiency. Over the last two years especially this has changed dramatically, and the future looks even brighter!

Efficiency, not conservation

There’s a stark difference between the typical conservation programs of the past, and the efficiency programs today. In the past, conservation programs often meant a sacrifice of comfort and/or luxury in the name of using less. Early adopters of CFL bulbs (the ones with the curly fluorescent tubes) will remember an unappealing white light, that took several minutes to “warm up” especially on cool days. Not only that, these bulbs weren’t bright, couldn’t be dimmed, contained mercury, and were hazardous if they broke. Furthermore, the early versions of low flush toilets and showerheads left much to be desired!

Efficiency today, however, enables us to do the same or more, with less. Highly efficient LED lighting technology, for example, provides much greater comfort, turning on instantly, dimming as needed without the flicker of fluorescent bulbs and without creating hot spots in their environment. Efficient heating and cooling technology provides more evenly distributed heat, minimizing hot and cold spots in buildings. The end goal of conservation and efficiency remains the same – saving energy and money. Today, energy efficiency accomplishes these savings without any sacrifice to comfort or quality of living, and oftentimes enhancing it.

Your competitors are becoming more efficient. Join them!

The reason efficiency programs exist in every jurisdiction in North America regardless of reasons such as location, political leanings, or strength of the economy, is simply because they make good business sense. Helping businesses reduce their operating costs enables them to be more competitive by improving profitability, freeing up resources to reinvest in the organization, and creating a competitive advantage.

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Business Energy Savings program is a prescriptive rebate program that has offered rebates on more than 50 products for the last 18 months. More than 2,800 businesses have already received rebates to help finance efficiency improvements for their business. Those businesses have received an estimated $17 million in rebates to assist with their projects, and they’re expected to cumulatively save more than 265,000 GJ of energy each year for at least the next ten years. This is the equivalent of taking 10,000 Albertan homes off the grid every year for the next ten years.

More than 250 office buildings have participated in the program. To date, that amounts to almost $1.5 million in rebates, averaging $5,800 in rebates per project, and saving an average of 120 GJ per building per year. What are you waiting for? Each of those 2,800 participating businesses are now operating at a higher level of efficiency and saving money annually in energy and maintenance costs. Perhaps they can produce more widgets per dollar, or offer increasingly better service as a result. It’s easy. And it’s your turn. You can improve your operations today! Start now.