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Coalhurst seeking more info on CEIP

Posted on November 30, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

More information is needed before the Town of Coalhurst takes steps to enter a provincial clean energy program.

During their regular Nov. 21 meeting, Coun. Jesse Potrie asked council to approve the creation of a bylaw on clean energy.

The bylaw would allow the town to participate in the province’s Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP), a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)-style program that aims to help people make energy efficient upgrades to their properties without having to put money down. 

Municipalities who wish to participate in CEIP must first pass a bylaw and work with Energy Efficiency Alberta to provide the program to their residents. EEA will then administer the program on the participating municipalities’ behalf.

Property owners participating in the program will pay for any upgrades through their property taxes, and the amount can be paid off at any time. Additionally, any outstanding repayments remain with the property, so if the property is sold, the new owners would take on the repayments.

“It’s voluntary of course. Municipalities, property owners, no one had to do this,” said Potrie. “This is just an opportunity for people who say they might not be in their residence for 10 years to receive the payback on their investment, or have to worry about transferring a loan to a new property.”

Potrie says that this is meant to simplify the process.

“It makes a lot of sense for people who, yeah, are in that boat where they can’t commit to the long-term, but still want to reap the advantages of clean energy.”

When asked what the financial impact would be to the Town, CAO Shawn Patience said while he hadn’t dug too deep into it, he didn’t believe that it would impact the Town’s operating budget, as they would collect the money and send it on to the province. It also shouldn’t impact the Town’s borrowing capabilities. When asked about the administrative costs, Patience said they could look into it and come back with an RFD.

Coun. Heather Caldwell requested they look into it first, noting the website for CEIP seems ambiguous.

“We’re not absolutely certain, and I’ve been through the website, and I would love to have more information to make a good decision,” said Caldwell. 

Council passed a motion to postpone Coun. Potrie’s motion to the Jan. 2, 2024 regular meeting of council, to provide council with a report outlining any impact for the municipality.

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