Supporting energy management in Alberta’s small municipalities 

Third cohort of the Municipal Energy Champions program includes six municipalities from across Alberta.

Only ten of Alberta’s municipalities have populations over 50,000. Everyone else lives in over 340 small cities, towns, villages, Indigenous communities and municipal districts. And while these are home to a third of the provincial population, they do not have the same capacity as larger cities. When we talk to staff in smaller communities, they are enthusiastic about energy management but cite staffing and resource limitations as significant barriers to doing more.  

That’s why we offer the Municipal Energy Champions program. This free program supports small municipalities in developing and managing energy management initiatives—efforts that will save taxpayers money and reduce Alberta’s climate impacts. 

In 2020, the Action Centre delivered a pilot of the Municipal Energy Champions Program to six municipalities. The six champions stressed the program’s value in building an organization-wide understanding of energy management, reviewing existing data collection and storage methods, and networking with other municipalities to share best practices. 

“We have been able to use the resources and can now build out a solid plan to lessen our energy footprint. We plan to become a leader in how a municipality, with in the oil and gas industry, can show how possible it is to be energy efficient in all aspects.”  

– Sandra McIntosh, Economic Development Officer, Brazeau County. 

The program returned in 2021 with nine municipalities participating. New activities in this iteration of the program included a baseline assessment, before working on the energy consumption inventory, and a presentation of the findings to internal stakeholders. 

Building upon the first and second cohorts, the program is now being offered for a third time. Municipalities were selected based on their need for energy management support and their commitment to working through all program steps. The six municipalities participating are: 

Village of Berwyn, Summer Village of Birch Cove, Town of Canmore, Town of Devon, Kananaskis Improvement District, Lacombe County

Over the next nine months, these communities will receive education, technical support, and coaching to position staff as energy champions within their municipality. Over the course of an 80- to 120-hour time investment, energy champions will develop valuable and enduring skills. By the program’s end, they will have the knowledge to identify opportunities for reducing energy consumption and start generating cost savings for their municipality. 

Congratulations to the six successful candidates for the third Municipal Energy Champions cohort!

Ronak Patel

Program Lead – Capacity Building

Working with Alberta Municipalities’ Sustainability Services, Ronak is supporting communities taking action on climate change.

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