2011 Energy – Co-winner 1
City of Medicine Hat, Alberta
HAT Smart Renewable Energy and Conservation Program
In 2008, the City of Medicine Hat developed a community environmental roadmap that set two targets: to reduce residential energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 and to obtain 25 per cent of residential energy from renewable sources by 2025. The city implemented the HAT Smart Renewable Energy and Conservation Program to take them there.
The city added an energy conservation charge to utility bills in 2005 to raise awareness and send a message to consumers who were using above-average amounts of gas and electricity and to all taxpayers about renewable energy and conservation. Throughout 2007, the city's energy manager worked with citizens and community groups to create a community environmental roadmap with specific targets for both energy conservation and renewable energy. A community plan to commercialize renewable energy sources is also part of HAT Smart.
- Thanks to HAT Smart's partnership with Climate Change Central, Medicine Hat citizens had an easy way to access energy conservation rebates and programs offered by federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
- Medicine Hat residents have participated in federal and provincial incentives programs at three to five times the provincial participation rates. As an example, in 2008-2009, rebates for clothes washers among HAT Smart participants stood at a rate of 18 per 1,000, compared to 8 per 1,000 in Alberta as a whole.
- Estimates of energy savings (based on models that compare older technology to newer) show the rebates program has saved HAT Smart participants $108,460 per year.
- More than 2,600 residents have attended HAT Smart monthly seminars.
- The program's website averages 4,000 visitors a month.
- Two community renewable energy projects are moving forward.