Peace River admin given green light to apply for energy manager

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

At its regular meeting on April 22, Town of Peace River council gave the go-ahead to administration to apply for the Municipal Energy Manager Program.

The program is through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) that was run in 2019, wrapping up in 2022. It provides staffing grants to municipalities in Alberta to offset the salary of an energy manager. The energy manager is hired to complete greenhouse gas emission inventories of all corporate buildings and facilities, then they figure out low cost, no cost and capital projects the community can undertake to reduce their impact on the environment.

“One of town council’s goals is to development an environmental master plan for the town,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“So, when we became aware of this new offering of the Municipal Energy Manager Program, administration investigated the criteria and brought the information forward for council’s consideration. It also fits into the Town’s plan for its asset management program in that it will provide some data about some of the Town’s assets.”

Manzer says administration has submitted an expression of interest, and the Town was invited to apply.

“Council has now given its support to the application for the two-year energy manager program,” Manzer says.

“If we are successful, the Town will receive up to $180,000 funding over two years with the Town needing to fund a portion of the costs,” she adds.

The program offers up to 80 per cent of the MEM’s salary up to a maximum of $80,000 in the first year.

It also provides up to $20,000 in rebates to support implementation of energy management initiatives.

In year two, the municipality could receive up to 40 per cent of an MEM salary up to a maximum of $40,000. It will also receive up to $40,000 in rebates to support the implementation of energy management initiatives. Year two funding is contingent on the municipality meeting Year One program requirements.

“The energy manager’s work will aid council in meeting our goal of reducing the Town’s impact on the environment, help the Town to realize some energy cost savings and efficiencies and also provide data for future grant applications,” explains Manzer.

“Also, because a portion of the new position’s costs will be paid through the grant program, the impact on the Town’s budget is minimized.”

Manzer says the Town is also hoping to see significant reduction on utility bills they pay as a result of some of the projects that could be found by the MEM, if they are successful in their application.

“Hopefully, our energy costs will be reduced through some efficiencies that are found by the energy manager as well as the data collected will be helpful in some future grant applications that are expected to require the data,” she says.

Interested municipalities can see the MEM program requirements and funding information by visiting the MCCAC website at https: //mccac.ca.

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