August 21, 2008
Natural Resources Canada
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2008) - The Government of Canada is investing in a renewable energy project in Alberta, thanks to investments in projects through the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Program.
Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation announced today that the Government of Canada will provide $450,000 to support installation of solar powered hot-water systems in Alberta homes. Mr. Obhrai, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, was joined by Gary Holden, President and CEO of ENMAX Corporation to launch the new solar hot water program.
"Investing and partnering in this project is a unique opportunity to demonstrate that renewable energy from the sun is a practical and cost-effective way to provide hot water for Canadian homes," said Mr. Obhrai. "This investment is also another demonstration of how our government is keeping its commitment to reduce harmful emissions by ensuring that clean, renewable power from the sun, wind and oceans plays an increasingly important role in Canada's energy mix."
The funding will help ENMAX Energy bring solar hot-water systems to Alberta homes over the next three years. With the program currently in its testing phase, ENMAX Energy is exploring a business model based on an upfront entry fee for consumers, followed by a monthly rental fee that will be partially offset by energy savings gained from the sun. Through this project, ENMAX is expecting to bring solar hot-water systems to homeowners in and around the Calgary area by spring 2009.
"We are pleased this financial support will take us one step closer to making it easy and affordable for Albertans to bring renewable energy technologies into their home and, at the same time, help them reduce their environmental footprint," said Gary Holden. "Solar hot-water systems are one of the ways ENMAX is hoping to bring renewable energy technologies to households across the province."
The Government of Canada's contribution, amounting to approximately 15 percent of the total cost of the solar-heating program, will be delivered through the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program.
Water heating accounts for between 20 and 25 percent of the average household's energy use. A solar water-heating system can meet up to 60 percent of a Canadian home's hot water needs and, depending on the energy source it replaces, can cut energy costs by more than $300 a year while reducing household greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne annually.
Six renewable energy projects were also announced in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island under the ecoENERGY for Renewable programs.
The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program is one of a series of ecoENERGY initiatives through which the Government of Canada is investing more than $3.6 billion to increase Canada's supply of clean, renewable energy and to help Canadians reduce their energy costs and emissions. The initiatives are a key part of the Government of Canada's Turning the Corner plan to fight climate change by achieving an absolute reduction of 20 percent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Natural Resources Canada will provide $450,000 to ENMAX Energy Corporation to support the installation of solar-powered water- heating systems in homes in the Calgary area.
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.
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