Councilor wants 'clear goal' for energy incentive program

By Jessie Weisner
January 7, 2019 - 9:37pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB -- New tweaks to the 2019 HAT Smart Residential Incentive Program were discussed in City Council Monday, and faced some criticism.

The program is designed to promote energy conservation by providing rebates through renewable energy initiatives.

Residents can qualify for rebates on energy-efficient appliances and homes.

Councilor Kris Samraj believes it doesn’t operate with a clear goal.

“I don’t have a problem with this program,” says Councilor Samraj. “I have a problem with this program running without a goal.”

The $250,000 budget for the program was approved on December 17, but Councilor Samraj wants it to be suspended until a clear goal is in place.

Mayor Ted Clugston doesn’t believe it’s viable to suspend it.

“It’s kind of difficult because we’ve already passed a motion for the budget,” says Mayor Clugston. “So in effect that may be a rescinding motion and to rescind a motion that usually takes two thirds majority.”

Councilor Samraj said he’ll bring the subject up at the next council meeting on January 21.

This years HAT Smart program focuses on four main areas for rebates.

Those who invest in solar panels can qualify for a $0.75 per watt rebate to a maximum of $5000.

Homes that are below the ‘typical new house’ baseline for energy consumption can earn $100 per GJ to a maximum of $10,000.

People with clothes dryers that have earned energy star certification can receive $75.

Finally, people who purchase a high-efficiency air conditioner can receive $350.

The City of Medicine Hat has provided more than $500,000 in rebates in the 11 years of the Hat Smart program.

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