Alberta to fund green upgrades for non-profits

Alberta will soon fund energy-efficient upgrades for non-profit organizations.

Program could make 180 organizations more energy efficient

Non-profit organizations will receive provincial government funding for energy-efficient upgrades, ranging from LED light bulbs to solar panels. (vchal/Shutterstock)

Alberta will soon fund energy-efficient upgrades for non-profit organizations.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced the latest step in the Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Transition (NEET) program at the single-day Alberta Climate Summit on Wednesday.

Currently through NEET — which is overseen by provincial agency Energy Efficiency Alberta — non-profits can receive audits to identify opportunities to save on energy costs.

"We know non-profits operate on thinner margins," said Phillips's press secretary, Matt Dykstra. "And so we need to be able to support them in taking advantage of those opportunities."

The next step in the program will see the government working with contractors to purchase and install the needed upgrades, which could be everything from LED light bulbs to new furnaces or solar energy systems.

"When non-profits want to take those next steps after getting their energy audit, when they have that no-cost audit in hand, our contractors will make the changes for them at no cost or very little cost for larger projects," said Phillips.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips speaks at the Alberta Climate Summit on Wednesday. (CBC)

The audit phase of the program wrapped up this week, and Energy Efficiency Alberta states on its website that it expects to have completed 180 audits when it finishes processing the current round of applications.

Dykstra said the NEET audits have identified about 210,000 tonnes of emissions that could be cut by funding green upgrades.

"It's a huge benefit to non-profits and will actually lower their energy bills," he said.

Audit costs are covered up to $12,000, but no dollar figure has been announced for the upgrade portion of the program.

Dykstra said more details will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

With files from Drew Anderson.