Alberta is set to introduce energy efficiency rebates following an announcement by the government which outlines their plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 tons by 2020.
Environment Minister Robin Campbell has announced that a rebate program for Alberta is now being readied. According to Minster Campbell, the energy efficiency rebates program, which will cost $30 million in the first year alone, is meant to embolden residents into buying energy efficient products, cutting costs and reducing greenhouse gas production at the same time.
The formal announcement of the program will be made in October, but Campbell spoke in-depth concerning the program and its purpose. According to the minister, this is all about giving Alberta residents and home-owners an “incentive” to buy appliances that won’t adversely affect the environment. Campbell said that while a lot of people want to buy eco-friendly products, the cost is keeping them away.
The minister hopes that this incentive program is the answer. The funding for the program, he noted, may be obtained from those in the industry sector that are unable to comply with the required greenhouse emission reduction objectives. Part of the funding will also be shouldered by the government according to the home-owner receipts.
No Existing Energy Efficiency Rebates Program
This program really isn’t new, as similar ones were enacted in Alberta in 2012 and 2009 to great success. Even so, the greenhouse emission in Alberta continued to increase in the succeeding years, which led to the program’s reactivation this year. It was also prompted by a report stating Alberta was the only jurisdiction in Canada without energy efficiency rebates.
The report, which was conducted by the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance, also conducted a survey which revealed that nearly 80% of Alberta residents are in favour of energy efficiency rebates in both residential and commercial establishments. Alliance executive director Jesse Row said in an interview that he approved of the minister’s plan, stating it could lead to millions of dollars in consumer savings.
According to Row, these rebates, if implemented, won’t just reduce energy usage but also bring forth to light the need to reduce greenhouse emissions. Row is not alone in this assessment, as many industry observers have noted that rebate programs are often very successful and deliver the desired results. Once the program is in full swing, observers believe that it will be the first step to show residents of Alberta the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Need for Energy Efficiency Rebates
The need for this type of energy efficiency rebates program becomes clear when one considers the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that occur daily in Alberta. Since the government announced plans to reduce Alberta’s emissions by 50 tons by 2020, it’s become imperative that steps be taken so home-owners will cooperate.
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According to Environment Minister Robin Campbell, the laws are already there in place, with industries required to cut greenhouse emissions by up to 12% below the baseline intensity set in 2004. Those that fail to meet the requirements will be fined, with the proceeds going to the climate change fund. Since the program was implemented, over $400 million has been collected in fines, and more than half the amount has been spent developing projects that will cut these emissions.