The Town of Cochrane is focused on consumption reduction throughout our organization and community. By using energy and resources more efficiently we reduce our operating costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while enhancing our service delivery. At the Town of Cochrane, we recommend first focusing on low/no-cost initiatives that allow for quick and easy savings. There are many low/no-cost changes you can implement as a resident or business such as:
- Behavioural changes: turning off lights, adjusting heating/cooling setpoints, and scheduling large appliances to use to staggered usage during low peak hours.
- Small upgrades: LED lighting, smart thermostat, smart plugs, and life cycling equipment to more efficient models.
- Leaks: stopping water leaks and adding weather-stripping / insulation.
- Fewer materials: paperless payments, reusable containers (e.g. coffee mugs, bottles), and opting for less packaged products.
Low/no-cost initiatives allow you to use less before adding new and more costly systems, which helps increase efficiency and reduce the size of the system (e.g. solar panels, high-efficiency furnaces, etc.).
Consumption reduction is changes and investments that create real cost and GHG emissions savings. Save money, save the planet – It’s a win-win!
Energy Saving Tips & Programs
There are a number of funding rebate/grant programs available for residents and businesses to support higher cost consumption reduction initiatives.
- Canada Greener Homes Grant (Federal): The Canada Greener Homes Grant will help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient, create new jobs across Canada for energy advisors, grow our domestic green supply chains, and fight climate change.
- Water Conservation Rebate (Municipal): The Town of Cochrane is offering rebates to encourage you to save even more water, inside and out (conditions apply).
- Potential Future Programs:
- Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) (Municipal/Provincial): Improve comfort and save energy with a different kind of financing, for renovation projects that make a difference.
- Energy Savings for Business (Provincial): Energy Savings for Business will help eligible Alberta businesses reduce emissions, decrease operating costs, grow their operations and become more competitive while creating skilled jobs and boosting economic recovery.
Town Plans & Policies
- Cochrane Sustainability Plan (2009)
- Toward Zero Waste (2012)
- Green Building Strategy (2013)
- Renewable Energy Framework – Policy (2015)
Consumption Reduction Team
The Town’s Consumption Reduction Team (CRT) is a group of voluntary staff exploring different projects and programs to help create a culture of efficiency in our organization. The CRT was created as part of the Province-funded Municipal Energy Manager (MEM) program, which provides grant funding, energy consultants and benchmarking software to help meet our energy reduction goals. The CRT will work to identify and reduce the consumption of resources and time through increased efficiency while still improving or maintaining customer service and staff comfort.
Since joining the MEM program in January 2020, the Town has implemented energy conservation measures that will result in an estimated annual energy savings of $80,344 and an annual GHG emissions reduction of 380 tonnes. These savings were achieved through the program’s initial focus on identifying and implementing low-cost/no-cost measures.
Two notable projects from the first year include:
- Window replacements at the Town Administration building, and
- LED lighting upgrades across the Town’s administration, operations, and recreation facilities (SLSFSC).
The Town received funding for the LED lighting upgrades through the Recreation Energy Conservation program. This program covers up to 75 percent of the cost of the lighting project at recreation facilities. This funding reduced Cochrane’s payback period for LED lighting at recreation facilities down to one year. Furthermore, Cochrane plans to conduct a scoping audit through the Recreation Energy Conservation program to identify and implement additional energy savings.
- 2017 AUMA Sustainability in Action Award - Dreaming Alberta
- 2020 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Sustainable Community Award Transportation - Cochrane’s On-demand Local Transit (COLT)