May 23, 2019

Open letter on the future of energy efficiency in Alberta

Continuity and support for energy efficiency makes sense for Albertans, say 20 Alberta groups  

Dear Premier Kenney, Minister Nixon and Minister Savage,

Energy efficiency is common sense. We urge you to ensure continuity and support for energy efficiency in our province to create jobs, invest in our communities and businesses and maintain opportunities for Albertans to save money.

The undersigned are local non-governmental organizations with interests in protecting and preserving Alberta’s land, air, water and biodiversity. We all agree that energy efficiency makes fiscal sense and it is an achievable approach to reduce our province’s emissions.

Energy efficiency creates savings that exceed the costs of the investment.

For every dollar invested into energy savings, $3 is returned to the Alberta economy. This is a worthy investment into Alberta’s businesses and homes.

For communities in every corner of our province, energy efficiency creates local jobs.

More than 3,600 jobs have been created in the energy efficiency sector since 2017. This year, the national energy efficiency sector is expected to grow by 8.3%.

Saving energy costs less than energy generation and transmission (both from fuels and renewable sources).

Energy efficiency can compete against more expensive generation options to deliver electricity and natural gas. This advantage means Albertans could save $1 billion in energy costs every year from energy efficiency.

Albertans and our businesses save money.

Energy efficiency can reduce home energy bills by as much as 50% through deep energy retrofits. Reducing energy costs enables our businesses to be more competitive.

It makes sense for Alberta.

Economic models show that energy efficiency can boost the provincial GDP by an average of $5.1 billion a year between now and 2030.

Our support is rooted in the common sense of energy efficiency programs. Every province in Canada has an efficiency program that invests in local communities and achieves savings for citizens and businesses. Although the programs differ in funding models, their effectiveness comes from sustained support from the provincial government.

We urge you to implement meaningful energy efficiency policies and programs to ensure continuity for businesses, non-profits and Albertans. A disruption will reduce capacity for the delivery and contractor networks and make it more difficult to market energy savings opportunities. Alberta has developed energy efficiency delivery expertise and sustained support will create more jobs, cut energy bills and invest in our province with real returns.

Sincerely,

Edmonton Climate Hub

Healthy Edmonton

Keepers of the Athabasca

Mewassin Community Council

Peace River Environmental Society

Public Interest Alberta

ReThink Red Deer

Rural Routes to Climate Solutions

Sierra Club - Prairie Region

South McDougall Flats Area Protection Society

Southern Alberta Group for the Environment

Alberta Wilderness Association

Bow Valley Climate Action

Calgary Climate Hub

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment - Alberta Regional Committee

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Northern Alberta

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Southern Alberta

Climate Leadership Program

Council of Canadians Edmonton Chapter

Crooked Creek Conservancy Society