September 13-20, 2004

Energy-efficient buildings under pilot program cut GHGs, will save $3M in costs

A Climate Change Central pilot program to encourage energy-efficient building design and construction in Alberta towns and cities has proved so successful it was extended another three months beyond its initial three-month period, can Climate Change Central is seeking support to fund a longer-term program.

Under the Alberta Plus Initiative, 19 Alberta municipal building projects received $614,000 in grants. Over the next decade, these projects are expected to save more than $3 million in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24,000 tonnes.

The program, which ended June 30, funded energy-efficient projects ranging from schools in Calgary and Banff to a police station in Edmonton and a seniors' centre in Vegreville. An example of the program's success is the Mountain View Seniors' Housing complex in Didsbury, which has earned the distinction of being the most energy-efficient commercial building in Alberta. This eco-building, which is 64% more efficient than a standard reference building, is generating over $34,000 a year in energy savings.

"This program has spurred innovation in Alberta's building industry and the benefits will continue for years to come," said Allan Amey, president and CEO of Climate Change Central. "When people hear how much a school district or a seniors' centre is saving each year, they're going to want these technologies, too."

Alberta Plus was funded and administered by Energy Solutions Alberta, Climate Change Central's office of energy efficiency. The program has earned Climate Change Central an Energy Efficiency Recognition Award from Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency.

NRCan's Commercial Building Incentive Program provides up to $60,000 for energy-efficient building projects. The Alberta Plus pilot program added a maximum $40,000 grant for Alberta projects. This provided total funding of up to $100,000 for commercial building designs which were at least 25% more energy efficient than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings in Canada.

Climate Change Central is a public-private partnership established as a catalyst for, and co-ordinator of, activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta. More information, including a list of Alberta Plus projects, may be requested from Simon Knight at Climate Change Central, 780/408-4581. Program details are also available on the following Web sites: www.energysolutionsalberta.com or http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/cbip.

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