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Government of Alberta announces funds to help municipalities upgrade facilities

County of St. Paul CAO Jason Wallsmith voiced support for the program, says County of St. Paul hasn’t identified any specific projects the grant may apply to, but they are investigating opportunities. 

LAKELAND – In late April, the Government of Alberta announced the launch of a new $6-million initiative aimed at helping municipalities upgrade their facilities to make them more energy-efficient, while reducing their emissions. 

The provincial government acknowledged how arenas, community centres, and other municipally owned buildings take a lot of energy to run. They are also expensive to operate and upgrade. 

Through Alberta’s new Community Energy Conservation Program, municipalities can apply for up to $500,000 grant to make these energy-efficient upgrades and make their buildings more environmentally friendly. 
Eligible buildings include recreation centres, libraries, community halls, fire halls, or waste and water treatment facilities. 

“We are helping municipalities make the practical upgrades they need to increase energy efficiency and lower energy costs. By making upgrades to rec centres, arenas and community halls, we can reduce emissions while supporting growing communities for years to come,” says Rebecca Schulz, Alberta's Minister of Environment and Protected Areas. 

In a statement to Lakeland This Week, County of St. Paul CAO Jason Wallsmith voiced support for the program, saying, “We all have a part to play in a sustainable future,” and programs supporting energy efficiency are always welcome. 

“At this time the County hasn’t identified any specific projects, but we are investigating opportunities,” says Wallsmith. 

What will the funding cover? 

The grant may cover up to 50 per cent of energy audit costs and retrofit project costs, helping pay for equipment, materials, or labour. 

Additional incentives may also be provided. For example, facilities can recoup 10 per cent of costs if they lower their emission by 20 per cent or greater after the upgrade. 

The $6 million program is part of Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. 

Kara Westerlund, vice-president of Rural Municipalities of Alberta says the program is an opportunity for rural municipalities, “which may not otherwise have access to funding, to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.” 

“This will allow rural municipalities to continue to fund their core services while reducing their energy usage,” she says. 

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