Diane Archie: Arctic Energy Alliance 25 years | Whuff News


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Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to increasing the use of alternative and renewable energy, stabilizing energy costs, and supporting national and international efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

There are projects and initiatives that GNWT is spearheading that will help us achieve this goal, such as the proposed Fort Providence to Kakisa Transmission Line and our efforts to make biomass the primary source of heating for GNWT buildings.

We also need action at the community level. That means residents, businesses and communities across the region are taking steps to reduce their energy costs and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy in their homes and office buildings.

Mr. Speaker, for 25 years the Arctic Energy Alliance has been providing support at the community level.

The Arctic Energy Alliance is a non-profit organization, funded by the GNWT, dedicated to reducing the costs and climate impacts of energy use in the NWT by providing programs and services.

Speaker, back in 1997 when this organization was established, their primary focus was to provide energy education and awareness, building energy audits, and renewable energy initiatives.

The Arctic Energy Alliance, continues to deliver these programs and has expanded its range of programs and services over the past 25 years. The organization is now providing more ways for residents, businesses and communities to save on energy costs and use more energy.

The organization has offices in all six regions of the NWT. This allows the Arctic Energy Alliance to maintain close contact with communities across the NWT and establish valuable relationships and partnerships at the community level.

Speaker, this work has a positive impact. Since 2011, the Arctic Energy Alliance’s Retrofit energy building program has resulted in a combined annual savings of $2.4 million in energy costs. The Arctic Energy Alliance is also a key organization helping communities develop an energy plan in the NWT. In 2020, the organization launched an electric vehicle discount rate program to help residents in low-lying areas reduce transportation costs.

In 2021-2022, the Arctic Energy Alliance invested approximately $5 million in its various programs and services. Of this $5 million, $2.7 million is core funding provided by GNWT and $1.7 million is provided through our agreement with Canada on the Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. While this agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2023-2024 fiscal year, discussions have begun with Environment and Climate Change Canada to renew this important funding. The remaining $0.6 million comes from various sources, including AEA membership and one-time GNWT funding. This investment generated significant revenue for the region; 2,802 incentives awarded, representing over $1.8 million in direct savings to residents. These investments have supported small communities, Speaker, with over half of the funding going to communities outside of Yellowknife.

This also translated into a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1 kilotonne NWT, equivalent to converting one third of Tuktoyaktuk’s energy production to renewable electricity, and 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity savings.

Speaker, in 2018 the GNWT released the 2030 Energy Strategy, our long-term approach to supporting secure, affordable and sustainable energy in the NWT. The Arctic Energy Alliance’s programs and services are key to meeting our goals of increasing the share of renewable heat in buildings to 40% and increasing energy efficiency by 15% by 2030. Congratulations to the Arctic Energy Alliance on a quarter of a century of providing critical energy systems. and services in the NWT. I look forward to what the next 25 years will bring to the organization, and to the field.

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