August 19th, 2017

Phillips answers critics of Alta. energy plan

By Schnarr, J.W. on March 20, 2017.

J.W. Schnarr

Lethbridge Herald

The Wildrose wants Albertans to pay more for their energy, and the Progressive Conservative party wants the province to do nothing when it comes to improving energy efficiency, says Alberta’s environment minister.

Speaking at an event for the announcement of a new 15-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system and lighting upgrade for the Lethbridge Farm Stewardship Centre on Friday, Shannon Phillips responded to criticism by the opposition regarding the selection of Ontario-based Ecofitt to install energy efficiency upgrades in Alberta homes as part of the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program.

“The Wildrose would like to slam the door on any company that would like to do business in Alberta,” Phillips said. “Clearly, they are not welcoming new jobs and investment.”

She said the company selected was chosen out of the competitive tender process and were the lowest-cost bidder.

“Clearly, the WIldrose would like us to pay more for that, but that’s not an approach that our government is going to take.”

She said the company is in the process of hiring 70 people and has leased 10,000 square feet of warehouse space in Calgary.

“It’s a place where the economy can really use a shot in the arm,” she said. “The Wildrose would like to take us to a time when we are not saving money on their electricity bills.”

On March 6, the Wildrose Party issued a statement criticizing the program and the decision, calling it a “corporate welfare handout” which has allowed Ecofitt to expand its operations with government money.

“The NDP government is taking billions of dollars from Albertans to spend on pet projects for out-of-province companies and it’s Albertans who are losing out,” Wildrose shadow electricity and renewables minister Don MacIntyre stated in the Wildrose release.

“Albertans would rather have their money stay in their pockets instead of the government taking their money so they offer them ‘free’ installation of power bars and nightlights.”

But Phillips said decisions by previous governments has made hiring out-of-province sometimes necessary.

“The fact of the matter is that Alberta has never had an efficiency strategy,” she said. “So many of these companies are going to be coming from elsewhere, where there is already expertise on energy efficiency.

“Because the previous government did nothing on energy efficiency, we became the last place in North America without these kinds of programs. It will take Alberta a little bit of time to catch up, but, at the end of the day, these kinds of procurement has to be competitive. The people of Alberta must get the best deal possible.

“The Wildrose would like us to pay more, and the Conservatives would prefer we do nothing at all.”

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2 Responses to “Phillips answers critics of Alta. energy plan”

  1. streams says:

    Minister Philips how can state that it was cheaper for Albertans to hire an Ontario company to change shower heads and upgrade to high energy light bulbs. Plus you state it is free to Albertans. You tax us $456 Million for this program and then have the gall to say it is free. Stupid is stupid and even to consider hiring a company out of province (for a total waste of taxpayer money) is ridiculous. You obviously have not shopped for a light bulb for quite some time or you would know that buying a non energy efficient bulb in Alberta is all but impossible. Most Albertans have done these upgrades long ago so your program is of little use. Investment has been driven from Alberta due to existing policies so I guess you feel that you can now hire out of province companies to come back to Alberta. Wow! I hope you will not be promoting wind turbines next. Consider this information! In 1998 Norway commissioned a study on wind power. The study concluded wind power turbines have serious environmental effects, insufficient production and high production costs .Denmark, Germany ,Ireland ,Spain .Australia , Switzerland, United States suspended wind turbine projects and subsidies to support wind power costs. Germany and the Netherlands have developed some off shore turbines(more wind available) but have no data available to determine total costs for viability. Wind power is so unreliable (you never know when it will blow) so wind energy generated is stored for demand and much of the produced energy is lost waiting in storage . Wind is efficient at 50 kph but turbines are damaged after 90 kph and must be shut down. In 2003 in Denmark there was a net result for power generated from 6000 wind turbines of 0. Nothing generated. In 2002 in Spain an exhaustive study estimated 11,200 birds of prey,350,000 bats and 3,000,000 song birds were killed there by wind turbines. Bird killer is an understatement (compared to oil sands) the oil sands are non existent . Did you know blades on wind turbines have reduced efficiency of 25 %-50 % just from a buildup of insects on the blades? But then we do not have any bugs in Alberta do we. Maybe the government will spend another $8 Million on T.V ads promoting wind turbines. Taxpayer money of $8 Million was used to promote a carbon tax to Albertans… After all we were told most Albertans are in favor of a carbon tax. Why do polls say 80 per cent are opposed to the carbon tax? The billions of dollars the government has earmarked for future so called renewable resources should have been applied to our massive debt.

  2. alberta1 says:

    TIme for Miss Phillips and the NDP to ” man up” and stop telling lies . One quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayers hard earned money to an Ontario company to change lightbulbs is obscene! We can buy our own low wattage bulbs at the hardware store. Once again, to add insult to injury, Miss Phillips has the gall to tell us they are “free”. This is the tree huggers religion, lies and smoke and mirrors! I sure hope one of those dang NDP fools in Edmonton puts the brakes on her ideological spending spree before Alberta is sunk even more into the mire ! 2019 cannot come soon enough!

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