Posted on Mar 2, 2017

March 2017 Newsletter - Back in Session

With the end of winter almost in sight, the legislature reconvenes for spring session on March 2nd, 2017. We continue to work to diversify and strengthen Alberta’s economy, and are seeing the effects of the many economic policies introduced last year. The small business tax rate was cut from 3% to 2% and a 30% investor tax credit was introduced to draw business to our province. Oil prices appear to have leveled out, but much work remains to be done to bring back jobs to Calgary. With the Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion approved, our main export now has a path to Canadian tidewater and global markets. As stated by the federal government, Alberta’s pipeline approvals could not have happened without the Climate Leadership Plan. Kinder Morgan and Line 3 prove that Alberta can be both an energy producer and a world leader on climate action.

The province recently rolled out Energy Efficiency Alberta - a new agency that will provide programs and services to help protect pocketbooks and lower carbon footprints. Until now, Alberta was the only province or territory without consumer energy efficiency programs. Energy efficiency is widely recognized as one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving consumers money.

Energy Efficiency Alberta will be funded by carbon levy revenue, all revenue will be reinvested within the province. The Residential No-Cost Energy Savings Program will provide no-charge installation of residential efficiency products such as lighting elements, smart power bars, water fixtures and programmable thermostats in homes and multi-unit residential housing across the province. Free or low-cost LED lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads will be made available for household use. The Residential Retail Products Program will offer point-of-sale rebates on energy saving appliances, lighting and insulation for homes. The Business, Non-Profit and Institutional Energy Savings Program will offer incentives for increased high-efficiency product usage.

Energy efficiency programs will create jobs in construction and energy services and have the potential to grow future-ready industries such as solar generation. Energy Efficiency Alberta aims to save families and institutions money, and chart a long-term vision for efficiency in our province. I welcome your comments and feedback about this program, and all others, at: calgary.buffalo@assembly.ab.ca.