Smart metering part of Alberta’s provincial energy strategy


Mel Knight,
Energy Minister,
Calgary, Canada — (METERING.COM) — December 17, 2008 – The promotion of smart metering, smart grids and better consumption measurement in order to help Albertans better understand their consumption patterns and incent greener responses are among the actions put forward for the province’s energy future.

The measures, highlighted in Alberta’s new provincial energy strategy, will form part of an over-arching policy framework that will be developed to increase energy efficiency and conservation in all sectors within the province.

“Energy efficiency and conservation will play a significant role in the future competitiveness of industry and attractiveness of the economic and social climate in Alberta,” says the strategy. It adds that strategic support for increased efficiency and conservation paired with carbon charges will be one of Alberta’s most critical levers in meeting the challenges that the future will pose.

Alberta’s provincial energy strategy, “Launching Alberta’s energy future,” is intended as a long term action plan for the province to achieve clean energy production, wise energy use and sustained economic prosperity.

Specifically the strategy seeks to address the environmental footprint of energy, to investigate ways in which value can be added to Alberta’s energy industry, and to improve technology innovation, including energy technology leadership. It seeks to enhance the reliability of the electricity system and to change energy consumption behavior, as well as to bolster knowledge and awareness of and appropriate education on energy issues. Finally it seeks to ensure that other initiatives, programs, policies, and regulations are in alignment.

Other actions suggested to change energy consumption behavior include improving building design and rethinking urban planning, especially in the context of urban sprawl and the need to increase density.

Bolstering knowledge and awareness is seen as important because the energy-environment question has fueled a very public and widespread debate. While there is plenty of solid information out there, there is lots of misinformation too, and it is getting harder to discern the experts, says the strategy. This debate will not die down in the foreseeable future and Alberta will take part.

Alberta’s energy sector, a significant producer of natural gas, oil, bitumen and coal, is the single largest contributor to provincial gross domestic product, income, employment and government revenues, and comprises more than two-thirds of its exports.

Traditionally, Alberta’s energy challenges have included ensuring a secure supply for the province, offering competitive exports for its economic benefit, and taking care of the environment. These challenges will continue in the future, but they take on greater complexity, principally due to climate change among other factors.

“Our strategic approach going forward recognizes that 21st century energy challenges also represent great opportunities for Alberta,” said energy minister Mel Knight. “The actions described in the strategy will help make Alberta a global energy leader that is recognized as a world-class energy supplier, energy technology champion, and a responsible energy consumer and environmental citizen.”

Implementation of the provincial energy strategy will include ongoing reassessment of the objectives and strategies. The government will report annually on progress implementing the strategy.