Recreation Energy Conservation Program

We are making real change at the heart of our communities, the places we play, live and learn.

Recreation facilities promote active living, building strong families and healthy communities. In many cities, towns and villages, these facilities run at all hours of the day, providing diverse services for thousands. As a result, municipalities see significant energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from these essential facilities.

With the Recreation Energy Conservation program, Alberta municipalities are receiving up to $750,000 for retrofits that reduce energy costs in arenas, swimming pools, multiplexes, and parks. Read on to see how your community is benefiting from cleaner air, a cooler climate, and long-term cost savings.

Results from projects completed to date (2019–24)

205 projects completed in 81 municipalities

8,640 tonnes CO2e emissions avoided annually

$12M in funding spent on rebates

$1.9M in annual savings for municipalities

SMALL CHANGES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE

Over 160 municipal governments in Alberta created real savings and real change. City, Town, Village, Summer Village, County, Municipal District – no community is too big or too small to participate. 

Upgrading lighting, thermostats, heating and ventilation systems, installing solar PV systems, implementing weatherization measures, integrating electric vehicles into the municipal fleet, and hiring an energy manager – it all adds up to millions of dollars in annual energy savings for Albertans.

Bon Accord Arena – Ice Plant Replacement

As part of the Action Centre’s Recreation Energy Conservation Program, the Town of Bon Accord replaced the existing ice plant at Bon Accord Arena with a new low volume ammonia system. The project was completed in January 2024.

Town of Picture Butte – Olympia Millennium Model E

As part of the Electric Vehicles for Municipalities program, the Town of Picture Butte purchased new fully electric Olympia Millennium Model E ice resurfacer. The Town received a $50,000 rebate for the project.

City of Calgary – Plug-in Hybrid Refuse Truck

As part of the Action Centre’s Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program, the City of Calgary added a new plug-in hybrid garbage truck to their fleet. The new truck has a hybrid drivetrain that operates the wheels and also uses electricity to operate the hopper.

Showcase

See how Okotoks and Foothills County are transforming the arenas, aquatic centres and curling rinks that form the core gathering places in these communities.

Village of Foremost Civic Centre REALice Retrofit

Leduc Recreation Centre Lighting Retrofit

City of Grande Prairie Eastlink Centre – CHP Project

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Casman Centre Air Handling Unit Heating and Controls Upgrade


Frequently Asked Questions

The Recreation Energy Conservation program provided grants of up to $750,000 to municipalities and community-related organizations for the purchase and installation of energy saving equipment in recreation facilities.

Grants were available for use in recreation facilities requiring complex and high energy-consuming systems. This included: arenas and curling rinks; aquatic centres and swimming pools; dry sport centres, such as facilities that do not include ice surfaces or aquatic facilities; multiplexes, such as facilities that include a combination of dry sports, ice surfaces, and aquatic facilities; and athletic parks, such as football or soccer parks with high-intensity lighting.

Municipalities could apply for scoping audits and engineering studies prior to applying for funding to implement projects. Up to 75% of equipment and installation costs were funded. In some cases, projects were given enough funding to bring the simple payback period down to just one year.

Common upgrades included LED lighting retrofits, purchasing ice rink flood water deaerators, and installing combined heat and power generation. See more examples by browsing our Success Stories.

The Recreation Energy Conservation Program has disbursed all its funding and is closed for new applications as of August 2022. The Action Centre is exploring options for a similar program to open in 2024.

Approved projects have received an offer letter to secure funding. Only applicants who signed an offer letter within 30 days are guaranteed their funding. Projects with signed offer letters will not be impacted by the program closure and can continue with implementation.

Have questions?

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