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'Electric' news launches new era for Alberta home-owners

/ Calgary

New funding has laid the ground work to revolutionize how Albertans will produce – and even use – their own energy. The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) has announced plans to fund ENMAX Corporation’s program to install solar panels and wind turbines in the homes of its customers at a significantly reduced cost.

“This funding will kick-start our plans to enable every Albertan to use home-based generation,” said Gary Holden, President and CEO of ENMAX Corporation. “Over the last two years we have been running a pilot program with employees to test the technology. Now we’re in a position to offer these environmentally sustainable products to our customers in an affordable way.”

ENMAX’s program extends the benefits of deregulation and takes a different approach to the issue of cost. Instead of selling the equipment, ENMAX will lease it to the customer and keep the responsibility for its maintenance. The 15-year lease will bring a monthly price guarantee that in time could compare favourably to prevailing electricity prices.

“Outright purchase of these technologies can still be cost prohibitive and is not an option for everyone,” continued Holden. “We anticipate that the customer’s cost of renting the equipment will be partially offset by the savings of not purchasing one hundred per cent of their power from the grid. It’s a made in Alberta solution to deliver solar power to Albertans.”

The $14.5 million dollars in funding through the CCEMC will help launch the program, educate the public on the technologies, and cover the costs of installation crews. The program is slated to launch in 2011 with a goal of installing 8,300 solar PV panels and 700 micro-wind turbines throughout the province by 2016. Solar power in particular will be a critical asset in offsetting air conditioning power needs and overall use of the technologies emits fewer greenhouse gases. The program will also launch a new industry and job opportunities.

Albertans will have many opportunities to ask about the program and see the equipment first-hand at a number of events throughout the province starting with the 2010 Calgary Stampede. Those interested can also sign up for the alternative energy newsletter at www.enmax.com/energy.

CCEMC is an independent, not-for-profit organization in Alberta with a mandate to expand climate change knowledge, develop new “clean” technologies, and explore practical ways of implementing them. There were 223 organizations who applied for funding of which 30 were invited to submit proposals, and 16 selected to receive a part of $70 million in funding.

 

ENMAX Corporation, through subsidiaries and predecessors, has provided Albertans with safe and reliable electricity for more than 100 years. ENMAX Corporation provides electricity, natural gas and value-added services to more than 650,000 residential, commercial and industrial metered customer locations in Alberta. ENMAX Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of ENMAX Corporation, is Alberta’s leading competitive electricity retailer. Through subsidiaries, ENMAX Energy is one of Alberta’s largest investors in renewable energy and was the first Canadian electricity retailer to offer customers the option to support wind generated energy. As well, ENMAX Corporation, through its subsidiary ENMAX Envision Inc., provides fibre optic networks for high speed data and internet communications.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Doris B. Kaufmann
Senior Media Relations Advisor
ENMAX Corporation
403-689-6150
mediaroom@enmax.com

All customers are free to purchase natural gas services from the default supply provider or from a retailer of their choice and to purchase electricity services from the regulated rate provider or from a retailer of their choice. The delivery of natural gas and electricity to you is not affected by your choice. If you change who you purchase natural gas services or electricity services from, you will continue receiving natural gas and electricity from the distribution company in your service area. For a current list of retailers you may choose from, visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).

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