Alberta energy efficiency promotion program to roll out in spring

The province plans to roll out the first phase of its energy efficiency programs in the spring of 2017, Alberta’s environment minister says.

Rebates for new appliances, incentives for high-efficiency products to be offered

Rebates are available for SaskEnergy customers wanting to upgrade their old furnace with a high efficiency furnace.
The province will roll out a program of rebates and incentives in the spring designed to get more Albertans using new products that promote energy efficiency. (Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press)

The province plans to roll out the first phase of its energy efficiency programs in the spring of 2017, Alberta's environment minister says.

Shannon Phillips told a telephone town hall Wednesday night there will be three programs in the initial rollout:

  • Free installation of residential efficiency products like lighting, water fixtures, heating components.
  • Rebates for efficient appliances, lighting and insulation for homes.
  • Incentives for high-efficiency retrofits of lighting, heating, cooling, hot water systems for businesses, non-profits and institutions such as schools.

Earlier this fall, the province launched the Alberta Energy Efficiency agency, which will be in charge of delivering the energy efficiency programs to homes, businesses and communities as the NDP's Climate Leadership Plan is rolled out.

The plan includes a new $20 per tonne carbon levy, starting Jan. 1, that will apply to heating and transportation fuels, including diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane

The levy will increase to $30 per tonne by Jan. 1, 2018. On gasoline, the levy will be 4.49 cents per litre, increasing by another 2.25 cents per litre on Jan. 1, 2018. For diesel, it will be 5.35 cents per litre as of Jan. 1, increasing by another 2.68 cents per litre on Jan. 1, 2018.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says qualifying households will start receiving carbon tax rebate cheques in January. (CBC)

The levy on natural gas, the most common home heating fuel in Alberta, will be $1.01 per gigajoule, increasing by another 51 cents per GJ on Jan. 1, 2018. The carbon levy will also apply to propane.

The government says six in 10 Alberta households will get rebates that will cover the average cost of the carbon levy.

Albertans whose job situation changed in 2016 will get the rebate on the carbon tax next year. The rebate is based on 2015 income tax returns, with qualifying households to start receiving their first cheques in January.

Phillips said there will be a reassessment in the middle of next year, similar to what's done with the child tax benefit.

"So what'll happen in July is there's a reassessment based on, you know, you're filing your taxes on time this coming April, and then … there'll be a reassessment for the fall cheques based on your 2016 income," she said.

Phillips says Albertans who were laid off or went on maternity leave in 2016 will receive their rebate cheques in the fall of 2017.