We sat down with David Dodge, Chair of the Energy Efficiency Alberta Board of Directors, to chat about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and some of the questions on Albertans’ minds. Here’s what he shared.
Q: Why is energy efficiency important?
A: Energy efficiency offers a golden opportunity to diversify and build a resilient energy economy. It’s a great way to build new energy systems that produce no emissions. No emissions means no carbon levy, so it saves Albertans and Alberta businesses money. There are no transmission costs, no costs to build infrastructure and minimal maintenance costs. In short: savings, savings, savings.
Q: How does energy efficiency benefit the environment?
A: Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that we know contribute to climate change. It’s the best measure money can buy in terms of reducing emissions and minimizing our carbon footprint. Energy efficiency reduces emissions to zero, which is a win for the environment and the economy.
Q: What will Albertans gain from energy efficiency programs?
A: First, jobs. As energy efficiency programs get up and running we’re looking at around 1000 new jobs for plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople. These workers typically work for smaller, local businesses that support local economies. They provide core services to communities across the province. Second, businesses that implement energy efficiency measures will be more competitive, as their operating costs will be reduced. Finally, households will reduce consumption, lower their carbon footprint and save money.
Q: How has the response to energy efficiency programs been around the province?
A: There’s a perception that Alberta is exclusively about fossil fuels, but this is untrue. Albertans have a greater understanding of energy than most, and they appreciate energy efficiency and renewables as viable options to power their homes and businesses. Energy efficiency speaks to Albertans’ independent, entrepreneurial, innovative spirit. I’ve been traveling around the province a lot and there is support everywhere for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. As an example, look at the subscription numbers for the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program. Thousands of Albertans signed up within days. Albertans are ready for these types of programs.
David Dodge is Chair of the Energy Efficiency Alberta Board of Directors. He is also a producer with Green Energy Futures where he has created over 150 documentaries on Canada’s most inspiring clean energy leaders, projects and policies.