Up to $55 million boost for Alberta businesses to improve energy efficiency

November 2nd, 2020

New projects to drive economic activity, create jobs, and enable business growth

EDMONTON, AB – Today, the Government of Alberta announced it is funding Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) Energy Savings for Business program targeting small- and medium-sized industrial and commercial facilities through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. The Provincial TIER funds of up to $30 million will be leveraged with public and private investment, including up to $25 million in funding from the federal Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF). In total, this program is anticipated to stimulate over $196 million in new investment.

Businesses from across Alberta will be eligible to access funding to cover a portion of their project costs for cost-saving and emissions reducing projects when the program launches in January 2021. These projects, using local skilled trades and suppliers, will re-invigorate the economy, helping businesses become more competitive, hire more staff, and grow their operations.

Through this initiative, businesses such as manufacturing facilities, agricultural operations, office buildings, and fabrication shops can cut costs and reduce emissions by adopting modern building systems and updating facility operations, enabling smarter energy use and less waste. These projects will rely on local contractors and a skilled workforce, including HVAC businesses, insulation companies, installers and electricians, creating jobs and opportunities for business growth.

ERA’s Energy Savings for Business program will help accelerate the uptake of commercially available technologies that will result in operational efficiencies and cost reductions, stimulate investment, and address longer-term environmental sustainability priorities.

The program will target small- and medium-sized industrial and commercial facilities that require financial assistance to invest in energy savings and GHG reduction projects. Program applicants are eligible for up to $250,000 (CAD) per project to a maximum of $500,000 per company. While projects are generally smaller in size than ERA’s usual projects, a high volume of projects (approximately 4,000) is expected, resulting in broad and significant cumulative impact.

“Alberta’s 160,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises are the economic engine of the province. ERA’s Energy Savings for Business program will have up to $55 million available to help these businesses save money and reduce their emissions while boosting the economy through the hiring of local skilled trades and suppliers. With lower overhead costs, Alberta businesses will become stronger and more competitive.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

“Alberta businesses want to modernize their operations to reduce costs and emissions. The Energy Savings for Business program will increase the accessibility and adoption of sustainable energy efficiency technologies. It will also stimulate new economic opportunities in Alberta’s growing clean tech sector.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

“Alberta businesses have long been committed to minimizing their environmental footprint while continuing to grow our provincial economy. Today’s exciting announcement by ERA will provide much-needed resources for small- and medium-sized businesses to continue this important work in a time of ongoing fiscal pressures. By committing to local workers and suppliers, the Energy Savings for Business Program will truly be a win for local economies.”
Ken Kobly, President and CEO, Alberta Chamber of Commerce

“The energy efficiency industry in Alberta is primed and ready to get skilled technicians and tradespeople working quickly and safely. We look forward to ERA’s Energy Savings for Business Program as Alberta’s next step in developing a sustained, market-driven and robust energy efficiency industry in the province. Energy efficiency boosts productivity, while reducing operating costs and emissions for small- and medium-scale industrial and commercial businesses. It’s a win-win-win.”
Amy Roesler, Executive Director, Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance

“Energy efficiency programs are essential for an effective provincial recovery. ERA’s new Energy Savings for Business Program enables Albertan businesses to remain competitive as we engage with a COVID-altered economy by implementing technology that frees much needed capital. As we progress from emergency recovery funding to long-term investment, this program offers rapid hiring for positions with long-term financial and career engagement potential.”
Tayber Yastremski, principal, Sustainable Projects Group

“The Alberta Trade Contractors Coalition members are united in their support of energy efficiency and achieving emission reductions through industrial and building retrofit projects. As a coalition representing all the primary trade associations, the ATCC membership has the expertise required to ensure the emission reductions achieved through ERA’s Energy Savings for Business program are fiscally responsible, realistic and quantifiable, maximizing benefits for all Albertans.”
Terry Milot, Chairman, Alberta Trade Contractors Coalition

“The Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta, a member of the Alberta Trade Contractors Coalition, supports energy efficiency initiatives. ERA’s Energy Savings for Business program will achieve emission reductions through fiscally responsible retrofit projects that rely on locally-skilled trades, contractors, and suppliers, a benefit to all Albertans.”
Tim Brundage, President, Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta

To inform the scope of the Energy Savings for Business program, ERA reached out to industry, government, and other experts to discuss opportunities to overcome barriers to the adoption of commercially available technology that can reduce emissions.

Applications are expected to open in January 2021 for businesses to submit their eligible projects for pre-approval. Alberta businesses, (Large Emitters and public institutions excluded) are encouraged to review program criteria and details about eligible projects that is currently available.

Projects can include commercially available energy-efficient upgrades such as HVAC technologies, weatherization, hot water systems, indoor/outdoor commercial and industrial lighting and control systems, and alternate power sources. Energy Savings for Business program details are available on the ERA website.

Projects must occur at facilities located within Alberta.

Steve MacDonald, ERA’s CEO, and Marc Huot, ERA’s Program Director, will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, November 25 at 10 a.m. (MT). They will provide an overview of the $55 million Energy Savings for Business program, including highlights on the program’s intent, scope and eligibility, and the submission process. There will be a question and answer period following the presentation.

For more information contact:
Emissions Reduction Alberta
Kevin Duncan
403.431.2859
kduncan@eralberta.ca

ABOUT EMISSIONS REDUCTION ALBERTA (ERA):
For more than 10 years, ERA has been investing the revenues from the carbon price paid by large final emitters to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative clean technology solutions. Since we were established in 2009, we have committed $611 million toward 185 projects worth over $4 billion that are helping to reduce GHGs, create competitive industries and are leading to new business opportunities in Alberta. These projects are estimated to deliver cumulative GHG reductions of 34.7 million tonnes by 2030.

ABOUT LOW CARBON ECONOMY LEADERSHIP FUND
The Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides $1.4 billion to provinces and territories to reduce carbon pollution and help Canada meet its 2030 climate target. The funding recognizes the key role provinces and territories play in addressing climate change, and it supports their efforts to reduce emissions, encourage innovation, save money, and create jobs and healthier communities.