Energy program to fund community projects

Now in operation for over a year, Echo Energy, the City of Lacombe’s energy boutique offers up a unique way to fund community projects.

Now in operation for over a year, Echo Energy, the City of Lacombe’s energy boutique offers up a unique way to fund community projects.

The concept is simple — power is offered to local homes and businesses and the generated profits are funneled into a fund that will be used to fund community projects within Lacombe, officials say.

For Community and Economic Development Officer of the City of Lacombe, Guy Lapointe, the energy initiative has unlimited potential within the community.

“I really hope people see the potential in it,” he said. “If there are community groups with projects, they should see the potential in something like this. This could be a potential fundraising piece for them. All you would have to do is sign up for power.”

Modeled after Mountainview Power, an energy retailer created by the Olds Institute as a community sustainability initiative, Echo Energy was established in Lacombe in November 2013.

The City itself is not generating power, but acting merely as an energy retailer, competing with other big name energy retailers, but with a community-minded aspect behind it. “By partnering with Utilitynet, they have given us the ability to offer power locally with the dollars staying within the community,” said Lapointe.

All of the profits generated by Echo Energy go into the Echo Lacombe Fund, which will be managed by a community committee. The group is currently working on creating a terms of reference and will be releasing an application process for community groups in the future.

“The big idea is this will be a community-led initiative and they will direct the funds towards community projects as they see fit,” said Lapointe.

A portion of the Echo Lacombe funds will be set aside for larger projects in the community, like funding playgrounds, arenas, skateboard parks, recreation facilities etc. The other portion of funds will be set aside for community programming, where there will be an immediate benefit.

The service is offered to everyone who needs electricity — apartments, houses, small businesses and larger businesses.

While Echo Energy is an electricity retailer within the City and profits from the utility service will support local projects, the service is not limited to just the City of Lacombe. Residents and businesses within Lacombe County, Blackfalds and Red Deer are also able to sign up.

“The sky is really the limit in terms of who we can work with here,” said Lapointe.

So far, around 125 homes or businesses have signed up for Echo Energy, but with 5,000 residences and approximately 600 businesses located in Lacombe, the opportunity for the initiative to expand could be a reality, he said.

“There is a lot of potential in it,” said Lapointe. “If people can make that change and see the potential in it, I think we would estimate at 1,500 accounts, we are talking about $200,000 annually would be going into the fund.”

Over a five-year period, close to a million dollars could be generated for the fund.

Currently, with just over 100 accounts signed on, around $10,000 annually will be generated towards the Echo Lacombe Fund.

“If we could have 1,500 accounts, that number goes up exponentially,” said Lapointe. “We would have a lot more power to do things within the community.”

Lapointe said Echo Energy doesn’t currently sell gas but he hopes the retailer will be able to offer it in the future.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

 

Just Posted

Lacombe Police Service requests help finding missing person

Melissa Oswell was last seen on May 15th, after walking away from a health facility in Lacombe

Lacombe Composite High School students win gold at Skills Alberta Competition

Camryn Grant and Ben Rainforth will represent Team Alberta at Nationals in Halifax

Lacombe Police joins in on Canada Road Safety Week

1,841 motor vehicle fatalities and 9,960 serious injuries due to motor vehicle collisions in 2017

City of Lacombe council highlights – May 13, 2019

The next scheduled Regular Council Meeting is on May 27th

Social justice at the forefront at Father Lacombe Catholic School

Charity projects highlight Catholic Education Week

VIDEO: LCHS Hair Massacure supports children’s charities

Event supports kids living with cancer

Authorities warn out-of-control wildfire could cut northern Alberta town’s electricity

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 35 south of High Level due to the fire

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

Those against Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aren’t worried about promise to fight critics of energy industry

Almost $13 million to be paid to Grande Prairie hospital subcontractors, others

No reasons for the Court of Queen’s Bench order were released

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

Two female passengers in the Corolla, aged 31 and 65, died at the scene

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Most Read