Renewable Energy Inventory

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

While they do not technically fall into the category of renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation are key and complementary tools in the broader energy planning context, as the cleanest and cheapest form of energy is the energy that we do not consume in the first place. Energy efficiency is the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. Energy conservation is any behaviour that results in the use of less energy. While this concept may appear simple, there is no single, well-defined way to achieve these measures.

Current Renewable Energy Projects in the North
Current Renewable Energy Projects

The territories are working towards better energy efficiency and conservation and are moving forward through a variety of programs and initiatives. In Yukon, the Energy Solutions Centre and the Yukon Housing Corporation provide advice on renewable energy technology and programs, housing retrofits, fuel prices, economic and social costs and environmental impacts of energy choices, indoor air quality and safety concerns.

The Government of Yukon provides a Good Energy Rebate Program through the Energy Solutions Centre and provides rebates for high efficiency kitchen and laundry appliances, solar domestic hot water systems, pellet and cordwood stoves, and oil and propane furnaces and boilers. Rebate amounts vary depending on item and the community’s electricity source.

The Yukon Home Repair Program provides homeowners with an opportunity to borrow up to 35,000 dollars to repair their principal residence for energy efficiency. Technical officers offer home assessments and provide lists of eligible repair options. All new government construction is mandated to meet high standards of energy efficiency, LEED for public buildings and SuperGreen for residential units. SuperGreen represents a Yukon Housing Corporation standard of construction that calls for superior insulation of homes through advanced framing designs. SuperGreen buildings have a minimum EnerGuide evaluation rating of 87.

In the Northwest Territories, the government has taken significant steps to implement energy efficiency and conservation programs and initiatives. For example, all new Government of the Northwest Territories buildings are required to be 25 per cent more energy efficient than a comparable building built to the minimum requirements of the National Building Code. The NWT Housing Corporation has developed its own brand, Ecobuild 80 Plus, to reflect its commitment to designing, building, and retrofitting houses that meet or exceed EnerGuide 80.

The NWT Energy Efficiency Incentive Program provides rebates to residents and businesses when they purchase Energy Star rated appliances, furnaces or boilers, wood or pellet stoves, home energy performance upgrades and other efficient equipment that can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This rebate program is available through the Arctic Energy Alliance that provides general advice and information about energy management and emission reduction opportunities, including home energy assessments, through the EnerGuide for Houses program.

The Nunavut Energy Management Program is providing significant opportunities for energy efficiency improvement though performance contracting. The upfront capital costs of improvements are financed through private means and paid back through guaranteed energy savings. Phase One of this program targeted 39 Government of Nunavut-owned buildings in Iqaluit. Phase Two will move beyond Iqaluit to retrofit government-owned buildings in other communities.

The Homeowner Energy Efficiency Rebate Program, administered by the Nunavut Housing Corporation, provides financial incentives to individuals to pursue energy efficiency improvements and reduce their power consumption. The program currently offers a 50 per cent rebate, up to 2,000 dollars, for repairs that improve energy efficiency, the purchase of energy efficient major appliances, the installation of renewable energy sources, and labour and shipping costs. The Government of Nunavut also funds Save 10, a two-pronged education program designed to assist building managers in operating newly retrofitted facilities and to help employees and students reduce their energy and water consumption at work, home and school.

Future Renewable Energy Projects in the North
Future Renewable Energy Projects

Photos courtesy of Patrick Kane/Up Here, Dianne Villesèche/www.ravenink.ca and ArcticNet. © 2016 A Northern Vision