The Alberta government boosts budget for municipalities to take on energy reducing projects
The Alberta NDP government is making good on a promise to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions with an injection of $2 million for municipalities to go green.
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre established in 2011 provides technical expertise and grants to local governments to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills by making public buildings more energy efficient.
It is a joint initiative between the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Municipal Affairs and Alberta Environment and Parks. This cash injection boosts its annual budget to $6 million.
“We need to develop an energy efficiency strategy in this province and that’s something we are moving forward on with a parallel track for the renewable energy strategy,” said environment and parks minister Shannon Phillips in a June 4 announcement.
Funding for the action centre comes from companies that are required to meet provincial regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Projects have been approved for large cities as well as rural communities. Since it began, the program has provided $800,000 to 25 communities.
“It allows municipalities to save taxpayer dollars and at the same time take a leadership role to climate change and GHG emissions,” said Al Kemmere, president of the rural municipalities group.
Projects included a retrofit of community buildings in the town of Beaumont to reduce energy consumption by an estimated 13 percent.
The County of St. Paul retrofitted its public works shop and saved $19,000 in energy costs.
Starland County received funds to install 12 solar panels in the municipality. The panels have 105 kilowatts of capacity.