Grant to reduce ag societies’ energy costs

The government of Alberta has announced a $10-million grant program to reduce energy use in facilities operated by agricultural societies, which operate more than 700 facilities including hockey rinks, curling rinks, community halls and facilities that serve rodeos and fairs.

The new program will support technologies that help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facility operating cost, including improving lighting, heating, ventilation and rink/arena equipment.

An estimated 260 agriculture societies that operate facilities will be eligible for the funding to help them with the more than 3,000 community activities they’re involved in each year, such as rodeos, fairs, farmers’ markets, 4-H activities, agriculture and farm safety education, and scholarships.

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“Alberta’s agricultural sector wants to do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This one-time investment will allow our agricultural societies to demonstrate environmental leadership, while continuing to enhance the quality of life in communities they serve,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier said in a release.

“Many of Alberta’s agricultural facilities are aging, and this grant will provide an opportunity to update buildings, improve energy efficiency and reduce increasing operating costs in the long term. Our ag societies, and these facilities, are essential to a high quality of life for Albertans, and this support helps relieve some of the rising financial pressure on societies so they can continue to do important work in their communities,” said Tim Carson, CEO, Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies

The program will be paid for through 2018-19 Climate Leadership Plan funds. Eligible initiatives under the grant program include retroactive and future activities that are measurable, increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with results being reportable to the Alberta Climate Change Office.

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