Implementing an energy efficiency program in Alberta, the only region in North America without one, would create thousands of jobs and save consumers C$460 million ($373 million) each year, a report said.
Incentives for homeowners and companies to refit premises and equipment to better conserve energy would create 3,800 jobs and reduce emissions equivalent to taking 800,000 cars off the road, according to a report by the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance, a group including oil and natural gas companies, municipalities and non-profit groups. The plan would cost about C$24 per capita, in a province with about 4 million people.
“Alberta is currently the only jurisdiction in North America without energy efficiency programs,” said Jesse Row, executive director of the alliance, in an e-mail. “It’s time for Alberta to start realizing the benefits of energy efficiency programs that other jurisdictions are already seeing.”
Recently elected Premier Rachel Notley’s government has promised an energy efficiency program, along with a coal phase-out and an expansion of cleaner energy. The efficiency plan may include loans to families, farms and small businesses to retrofit buildings to reduce energy use, according to her campaign platform from last month.
Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips plans to unveil new climate-change regulations by the end of this month and to hold public consultation on the province’s renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies in the coming months.