Overview

Ambition: Homeowners and businesses have low-barrier access to affordable financing for energy efficiency across Alberta by 2023.

Energy efficiency (EE) is one of many types of distributed energy resource (DER) technologies that allow consumers and businesses to work with regulated utility companies in managing system energy costs. These technologies, such as high-efficiency equipment, smart thermostats and appliances, solar panels and other distributed generation, energy storage and electric vehicles, offer up many benefits when they are integrated into the energy system.

This is an initiative designed to implement proven mechanisms and pilot projects that demonstrate the value — and net benefits — of energy efficiency, demand response and DER technologies to the electric system, utilities and society.

Two compelling mechanisms identified by this initiative are: (1) supporting “made in Alberta” Property Assessed Clean Energy financing administered as the Clean Energy Improvement Plan by Energy Efficiency Alberta; and (2) developing a pilot project that demonstrates the significant net benefits of using energy efficiency to accommodate electric vehicle (EV) charging uptake in residential electric distribution-level feeders.

Challenges

  • Making sure the first few municipalities involved with the CEIP financing program have a great experience, and many residential and business customers build quality and positive rate of return projects
  • Collaboration between municipalities and utility companies to work together on an innovative (non-immediately essential) pilot project
  • Funding of energy efficiency programming as part of the pilot would need additional/third party sources as the type of investment is non-traditional for utilities

Initiative Status

Energy Efficiency Alberta contracted Guidehouse consulting to study the net benefits of using energy efficiency, demand response and smart charging to accommodate electric vehicle charging on a residential electric feeder. The study shows a significant net benefit to using energy efficiency and demand response as opposed to traditional investments in electric wires and transformer(s).

In March 2020, the EFL hosted the Energy Futures Communities Accelerator to raise the awareness of the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) among municipalities in Alberta, specifically those from rural communities. It helped new communities get excited about energy efficiency financing, and how the municipalities can get started.