Free LED lights, low-flow showerheads? Alberta rolls out residential energy savings plan

Alberta is rolling out an energy savings program which will cover the cost of LED light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, smart thermostats and other cost savers — including installation — as part of a five-year, $645-million program funded by the province's carbon tax.

"This is about making sure Albertans can save money on their electricity and natural gas bills," Environment Minister Shannon Phillips told The Homestretch on Wednesday.

"These are services that are available in other jurisdictions that have energy efficiency programs, and Alberta is really just catching up."

The Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program is open to homeowners and renters in the province and there are currently no limits, but that could change.

"We will take it as it comes," Phillips said.

"We have within the energy efficiency budget the funds available for this first round of programs, this is just phase one. In the longer term there will be other programs as were recommended to us by our energy efficiency panel."

The program is expected to be in full swing by April and registration can be done online or by phone.

Another element of the program is a rebate for the use of solar panels.

"It's a five-year program, the first two years are a rebate for 75 cents per watt. Those rebates will be available starting in mid to late April," Phillips said.

"There is quite a lot to do before you get to the point of having solar panels installed, so we really encourage people to download the checklist from the Solar Energy Society of Alberta."

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With files from The Homestretch