Energy Efficiency Programs See All

Energy efficiency programs secure energy savings through various strategies such as audits, retrofits, training for building tradespeople, “people-centred” or behavioural efficiency strategies, and customized industrial programs.

Energy Efficiency Program Administration

The Alberta government established the provincially-owned, not-for-profit crown corporation Energy Efficiency Alberta in 2017, with a mandate to deliver programs for energy efficiency and community energy systems. EEA was funded primarily through the Alberta carbon levy, but also receives funding from the federal government's Low Carbon Economy Leadership Funding.

Since the conclusion of EEA, the Government of Alberta has continued to deliver energy and emissions reductions programming, with focus on TIER funding mechanisms and programs, including the recently completed Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage grant program, and the On-site Energy Managers and Strategic Energy Management programs. In addition, several external organizations are funded by the government to deliver energy and emissions reductions programs that address a wide range of sectors (e.g. commercial real-estate, manufacturing) and stakeholders (e.g. private businesses, Municipalities). These delivery agents include Emissions Reduction Alberta, the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, Carbon Capture International, and Alberta Innovates.

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) leads a number of programs connected to energy efficiency and renewable energy. AUMA's owned subsidiary organization, the AMSC, was designated as the program administrator for the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) in February 2021. Funding for MCCAC and CEIP was sourced from the Alberta carbon levy and the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Fund (TIER).

Last reviewed: September 2021

Energy Efficiency Targets

There are no formal energy savings targets in Alberta, though some programs have emissions reduction goals. 

Emissions Reduction Alberta's Energy Savings for Business program has an objective of 1.1M tCO2e of net lifetime GHG savings. This goal is fuel neutral, and will be achieved primarily through electricity or natural gas savings.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

Alberta is one of few jurisdictions in North America in which energy conservation is not incorporated into utility resource planning. One exception is the Medicine Hat Electric and Natural Gas Utility, which does offer ratepayer-funded programs.

Discussions with utilities were taking place in 2020 to understand the barriers they face to implement energy efficiency programs.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Efficiency Potential Study and Energy Planning

The Energy Efficiency Alberta Act 2016 mandated Energy Efficiency Alberta to annually complete and provide to the Minister of Environment and Parks a multi-year business plan approved by the board.

These plans were to include:

  • The budget for the fiscal years to which the plan relates
  • The goals, objectives, and targets for the fiscal years to which the plan relates
  • Any additional information requested by the Minister

An efficiency potential study for the years 2019-2038 was prepared for Energy Efficiency Alberta in October 2018.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Cost-Effectiveness Testing

Energy Efficiency Alberta used a variety of cost-effectiveness tests, including Societal Abatement Cost, Program Abatement Cost and Total Resource Cost. The tests were used at all levels (portfolio, program and measure). 

Cost-effectiveness tests used by government and other current program administrations are unknown.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

Emissions Reduction Alberta's Energy Savings for Business is a prescriptive program with deemed savings. Savings assumptions are reviewed by a third party prior to program launch. Participant level verification is conducted internally to confirm that supported systems are installed as approved. The program is not evaluated by an independent third-party.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Program Innovation

Alberta Innovates funds research, development, and demonstration of new technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of many sectors in the province. There is no specific program or focus area on “energy efficiency”, however projects may have components which improve energy efficiency.

Alberta Innovates and partners established the Green Buildings Technology Network in 2020, a network of test buildings for small and medium-sized construction firms to develop new innovations in energy-efficient construction through testing, commercializing and adoption of new products and technologies.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Equity and Inclusion

There are no known legislative or regulatory requirements that encourage delivery of energy efficiency programs to low-income or hard-to-reach populations.

Energy Efficiency Alberta administered the Affordable Housing Energy Solutions program in conjunction with the Ministry of Seniors and Housing, which targeted housing stock owned or supported by the Alberta Social Housing Corporation. This program was closed in October 2019.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Enabling Policies See All

Enabling policies refer to policies, regulations, and other activities that build supportive infrastructure and policy frameworks to advance energy efficiency in a province. 

Support for Financing

PACE Financing

The Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) is a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program that makes it easier for property owners to overcome these barriers. Between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020, three Alberta municipalities passed CEIP enabling bylaws (two in 2019 and one in 2020).

Last reviewed: October 2021

Research and Development

Dedicated innovation funding

Alberta Innovates funds research, development, and demonstration of new technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of many sectors in the province. There is no specific program or focus area on “energy efficiency”, however projects may have components which improve energy efficiency.

Pilots, projects and demonstrations

A $50 million TIER economic recovery program was launched, seeking shovel-ready projects to reduce GHG emissions. Twenty-three projects were selected in 2020, which included process improvements in the oil and gas industry that reduce energy consumption.

Emissions Reduction Alberta announced 11 projects selected under its Industrial Efficiency Challenge in 2019. Since then, one project (using flow-control devices to reduce energy intensity) has been completed, and two were cancelled.

Program innovation

Alberta Innovates and partners established the Green Buildings Technology Network, a network of test buildings for small and medium-sized construction firms to develop new innovations in energy-efficient construction through testing, commercializing and adoption of new products and technologies.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Lead by example

Buildings
LEED Silver is the minimum standard for all new major construction projects since 2006.

The provincial government certified 89 buildings under the BOMA BEST program, and three government-owned buildings have achieved the BOMA BEST Platinum rating.

Vehicle Fleets
No policies found

Last reviewed: November 2021

Grid Modernization

Advanced metering

Installation of AMI in Alberta is ultimately the decision of the distribution utilities. A recent report by the AUC into the distribution system notes AMI infrastructure coverage varies from utility. The report notes that EPCOR is one of the few utilities with interval-capable meters installed across its service territories. ATCO Electric has one-way meters installed in its territory and plans to install 2,000 AMI meters in the Grande Prairie region.

ENMAX is replacing existing meters only after end-of-life and approximately 16% of its meters are now AMI. Fortis residential and small commercial meters are not capable of interval readings and plans to replace all cumulative meters over the next 10 years. EQUS was aiming for full AMI coverage by early 2021, and the City of Medicine Hat has replaced all electricity and natural gas meters with AMI meters.

Non-wires/Non-pipe alternatives

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) currently does not pursue non-wires/pipes alternatives beyond what would be justified by performance-based regulations. A recently released study by the AUC into the distribution system identified a number of barriers to non-wires alternatives and distributed energy resources (particularly energy storage).

Conservation voltage reduction
The City of Lethbridge is piloting Conservation Voltage Reduction with the support of Alberta Innovates. For more information, see https://albertainnovates.ca/impact/newsroom/powering-up-electrical-grid-research-new-industry-consortium-pilots-smart-grid-tech-in-lethbridge/

Last reviewed: November 2021

Carbon Pricing

Proceeds from Alberta's industrial pricing system go into the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. The regulation detailing TIER does not specify exactly how this fund is to be used, but the province has committed to using it to support emissions-reduction programs for industry. In its information request response to Efficiency Canada, the province indicated that TIER funding supports some energy efficiency programs remaining after the closure of Energy Efficiency Alberta.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Buildings See All

Buildings are a significant and often neglected component of Canada’s infrastructure, and high-performance buildings are important for our quality of life, physical and mental health, and economic productivity

Building Codes

Houses and Small Buildings
The National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition is based on the 2015 edition of the National Building Code (including section 9.36 on energy performance). The previous version of this code was based on the 2010 National Building Code, and the 2012 revision to section 9.36 on energy performance

Large Buildings
The National Energy Code for Building – 2017 Edition was adopted for new buildings other than housing and small buildings by provincial regulation in February 2019, and came into force on April 1, 2019. The previous version of the code were based on the 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings.

Stretch or Step Codes
Alberta does not have a stretch or step code.

Net-zero energy ready commitment
There is no formal commitment to move towards net-zero energy buildings in Alberta.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Building Code Compliance

No compliance studies were identifed in Alberta.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Home Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory home energy rating and disclosure: No
Home energy labelling voluntary or pilot program: Yes

Through the Change Homes for Climate initiative, launched in 2017, the City of Edmonton and Energy Efficiency Alberta provide $400 against the cost of an energy evaluation when results are shared online, plus additional incentives to support renovations, as part of the Home Energy Plan program. Edmonton City Council supported developing a new and existing home energy labeling program in the June 2012 Green Building Plan.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Building Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory large building energy rating and disclosure: No
Voluntary building benchmarking and transparency program: Yes

Alberta’s Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, which is funded by the Government of Alberta and Energy Efficiency Alberta, established a voluntary building-benchmarking program for municipal buildings.

The City of Edmonton has launched a Building Energy Benchmarking Program, for owners and operators of large buildings (both residential and commercial with over 20,000 square feet). Participants who opt-in receive technical support, customized building benchmarking reports, tenant education workshops and access to financial incentives (up to $10,000/building) to help offset the costs of an energy audit. The program uses ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager online services.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Appliance and Equipment Market Transformation
Space Heating Windows Water Heating
Research and development - - -
Pilots and demonstrations - - -
Information and awareness - - -
Technology and installation training - - -
Upstream or downstream incentives - - -
Regulation, codes and standards - - -

Last reviewed: August 2020

Appliance and Equipment Standards

Alberta harmonizes with federal energy efficiency regulations.

Last reviewed: Novemer 2021

Efficiency Requirements for Government Supported Housing

The Affordable Housing Energy Savings program allocates $25 M to retrofit provincial and municipally owned affordable housing stock. $9 M is from the Low-Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Transportation See All

Policies tracked in the transporation area reflect the potential energy savings of closer integration of private transportation with buildings and electricity grids. 

Zero-Emission Vehicles Mandate

There is no ZEV mandate in Alberta.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Electric Vehicle Charging Program

In 2017, ATCO deployed a Calgary-Edmonton Universal Fast Charging Corridor, installed three charging stations in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. Each location was installed with fast charging and Level 2 charging stations. This project was supported by Natural Resources Canada.

The Peaks to Prairies is an electric vehicle charging network in Southern Alberta comprising 20 charging stations, which was completed in 2020.

The City of Edmonton is working with ATCO to pilot curbside electric vehicle charging, with stations planned to be operational in 2020.

The MCCAC is also planning to launch a program to support public charging in 2021.

Last reviewed: November 2021

EV and PHEV Financial Incentives

Consumer incentives

Alberta does not offer consumer incentives.

Commercial / Fleet electrification Incentives

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre in provides funding to municipalities to purchase or lease electric vehicles for their fleets. Passenger vehicles can be funded up to $14,000 and can be combined with the federal incentive. Funding for medium to heavy-duty vehicles such as electric garbage trucks will cover 30% of costs, up to $300,000. A portion of lease costs can also be covered on a scale, depending on the length of the lease.

Municipalities can access funding for non-road electric vehicles such as ATVs/UTVs, ice resurfacers, street sweepers, and more. All vehicles must be new models.

Last reviewed: November 2021

“EV Ready” Building Code

The City of Calgary has included BEV/PHEVs in its bylaws, but the province did not explicitly state that all municipalities had this power, or if any others had acted this way.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Industry See All

In recognition that the industrial sector is highly varied across Canada, this database tracks policies that are broadly applicable to all industrial subsectors and provinces.

Energy Management

Energy Efficiency Alberta operated four programs related to energy management that were all a part of the Custom Energy Solutions portfolio: The Industrial On-site Energy Manager, Strategic Energy Management (SEM) for general industrial and for large-final emitters (SEM-LFE), and the Methane Emissions Reduction program.  Since the closure of EEA in September 2020, the energy management programs were transferred to Emissions Reduction Alberta. 

The Strategic Energy Manager is a 2-year cohort program. Year 1 features 4 group workshops, 5 one-on-one site events, and dedicated coaching and mentoring. Year 2 is designed to help facilities maintain the savings they achieved in the first year. Facilities must have an emissions profile of over 5,000 tonnes of GHG emissions annually.

The SEM-LFE is designed for (facilities that produce more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 annually or facilities who opted into Alberta's Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) that have complex energy management needs. Participating facilities will receive energy management coaching and engineering resources along with intensive workshops, on-site training, and one-on-one coaching to increase energy management expertise within participating companies.

The government awarded Carbon Connect International as the delivery agent for both the Methane Technology Implementation Progam (MTIP) and the Baseline and Reduction Opportunity Assessment (BROA) Program. Both program are funded through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) Regulation funding. Funding is available to eligible Oil & Gas organizations in Alberta.

Last reviewed: November 2021

Co-generation / Combined Heat and Power

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Custom Energy Solutions program includes CHP as an upgrade that qualifies for incentives. Total incentive spending was $1 million in FY 2018-2019 with lifetime GHG emissions reductions of 376,872 tCO2e. Electricity generation in 2018/19 was 10.63 GWh of annual generation.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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