Albertans can get cash back on new energy efficient lightbulbs, programmable thermostats and other home products under a new provincial government program set to launch Friday.
From April 28 until June 11, Energy Efficiency Alberta is running the second part of a $24-million residential retail products program, by offering “instant rebates” to customers who buy products from participating stores.
“Our government has had to work quickly to ensure that Albertans reap the rewards of energy efficiency initiatives,” said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips when announcing the program at a Canadian Tire in Calgary, one of the participating businesses.
Customers will get a rebate at the till when they pay, the minister said. For example, Albertans can get $18 back for smart power bars, or $12 back for low-flow shower heads. Rebates are limited to 25 items for the same product in the same purchase.
The complete list of products available for rebates, and where to get them is on Energy Efficiency Alberta’s website. The province will run a second six-week campaign this fall.
Agency reinvesting proceeds from Alberta's carbon tax
Alberta expects the program to conserve 250,000 gigajoules of energy, enough to meet the energy demands of approximately 1,500 homes in one year. It also expects to save 307,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the same as taking 41,000 personal vehicles off the road for a year.
In all, 579 retailers are participating, including large outlets like Best Buy and Home Depot, and a host of other independent retailers like Eco Lighting Solutions and Litron Canada.
Energy Efficiency Alberta, a fledgling agency that just appointed its CEO, Monica Curtis, at the end of March, has a mandate to reinvest the estimated $645 million of proceeds from the province’s carbon tax that began Jan. 1 in efficiency measures. Curtis also appeared at the announcement.
A residential “no-charge” program already gives Albertans free in-home advice and product installation of energy-efficient products. Phillips said “twice as many Albertans than expected have signed up for that program to date; it’s become tremendously popular.”
Alberta also rolled out home-upgrade rebates last week for insulation, more efficient windows and tankless water heaters worth up to $3,500. Over 700 Alberta contractors have registered to deliver that program, said Phillips.
Curtis said the new “instant rebate” program will be promoted at in-store events starting early May by over 100 “efficiency ambassadors,” or local hires trained to help customers pick out energy efficient products and calculate the energy and cost savings. This is being delivered by Summerhill, a "customer engagement" firm.
A program offering an online rebate for smart thermostats and high-efficiency appliances is coming soon, said Curtis.