VIDEO: Expert Panel Explains How Energy Efficiency is also Job Creation Efficiency

By: Gavin Pitchford

How do you kick-start hiring, rapidly build an industry that can help transition Canada to a low-carbon economy, reduce GHGs, save ratepayers money, and recover from an epidemic induced recession all at once, and do so incredibly efficiently? The answer is in the question: Efficiency!

A tremendous percentage of Canada’s building stock – both residential and commercial – was built before insulation was even a thing, before double-pane windows and door seals were a thing – and most commercial building in Canada are running on old inefficient HVAC equipment – or HVAC equipment that is very poorly managed or maintained – wasting owners and tenants billions of dollars a year – while simultaneously creating millions of tonnes of unnecessary GHG emissions.

Even buildings built in the last 10 years can usually benefit from energy efficiency upgrades to more efficient boilers, furnaces and air conditioners. In short – the supply of projects is endless! Meaning the jobs created are long lasting,

A program in Alberta, led by one of our panelists, took a $246 million dollar investment from Clean50 Honouree Rachel Notley’s NDP government and transformed it into incentives that allowed Albertans to save $800 million on their energy expenditures, generate $900 million in economic activity and create 5,200 jobs! While avoiding megatonnes of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the improvements.

All of those employees pay taxes – and the $900 million in economic activity was itself taxable, and created more jobs and lots more taxes paid in the process. In short – much of the investment goes right back to the government!

Compare: STATSCAN figures say that a million dollar government investment in the fossil fuel industry creates just 2.7 jobs over time – and they come with a long lag time. Energy Efficiency Alberta created 20.8 jobs per million dollars invested, with virtually no lag time. That’s 18 more people employed per million in investment!

And each million dollars also drove remarkable environmental benefits, saved consumers and governments $3.2 million in energy bills over the lifetime of the retrofits, and generated $3.6 million in economic activity – activity that creates still more jobs. Not only that: all of the wages and most of the economic activity is taxable and so drives revenue back to governments – revenue that is ultimately greater than the incentive amounts it provided in the first place. “But.. How”? you ask…

The Clean50 CleanReset Expert Panel on Energy Efficiency explains the details and the opportunity. Listen to

  • Philippe Bernier, Vice President, Innovation & Sustainability, Triovest Realty Advisors
  • Monica Curtis, CEO. Energy Efficiency Alberta
  • Julia Langer, CEO, The Atmospheric Fund
  • Thomas Mueller, President & CEO of the Canada Green Building Council
  • Moderator: Gavin Pitchford, CEO Delta Management and Executive Director, Canada’s Clean50

To learn more about this win-win-win, watch this panel of the leading experts in Canada as they describe the how – and the how much, as well as the actions governments need to take to generate tens of thousands of long term durable jobs as part of a CleanReset, building back better investment.

This recording is part of the Canada’s Clean50 CleanReset series that explores the policy options for Canada that can drive remarkable economic opportunities in a low-carbon economy all unlocked by a post-COVID #CleanReset.

Critical support in funding, coordinating, hosting and recording the series came from The Trottier Family Foundation, The Ivey Foundation, Delta Management Group, HP Canada, Bullfrog Energy and SparkPower, Intact Insurance and Frank Cowan Company, the University of Windsor, Sustainalytics, Cycle Capital, Resco Energy, GreenEnergy Futures, Delphi Group and GlobeSeries, Clean Energy Canada, the Pembina Institute and the Smart Prosperity Institute.