The City of Airdrie plans to apply for the Community Energy Conservation (CEC) Program, which was announced by the provincial government last week.

Arenas, community centers, and other facilities consume significant energy, posing high operational costs and requiring costly upgrades. For this reason, the province created the new $6-million program that can help municipalities make energy-saving upgrades, reducing costs and emissions.  

“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,” stated Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas.

Through the program, municipalities and community-related organizations can access up to $500,000 for various purposes such as enhancing recreation centers, libraries, community halls, transit centers, fire halls, and wastewater treatment facilities.

According to the City of Airdrie, Airdrie Council approved its City of Airdrie Corporate Energy and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy last December and staff are now budgeting for and planning energy-saving measures across City-owned facilities.

The Strategy fits into Council priorities to protect the environment and manage corporate assets cost-effectively. Providing that the city is successful in its application, the funds available with help implement the strategy.

"Projects submitted for CEC Program funding must be competitive in how much they reduce greenhouse emissions, otherwise they will not be funded," mentioned the city.

In 2022, the City spent $4.2 million on electricity expenses, with $1.1 million designated for larger buildings. Additionally, $857,000 was spent on natural gas consumption across 27 buildings, resulting in a total of 14,200 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and natural gas usage.

The Community Energy Conservation Program, supported by Alberta's government through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, is a key component of an $18-million investment. This initiative is aligned with Alberta's Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan, aiming to lower costs for municipalities, reduce emissions, generate employment, and bolster the economy.

Applications for the program are currently open and will remain so until March 2026 or until all funding has been assigned, whichever comes earlier.

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