Today the Government of Alberta announced the appointment of Cape Breton University President Dr. David Wheeler as chair of an expert panel convened to provide advice to Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips on the setting up of a provincial Energy Efficiency Agency. The Agency will also be responsible for investments in community and micro-scale renewable energy.
Dr. Wheeler has led similar energy policy projects in the past, including the study which led to the setting up of Efficiency Nova Scotia, which has overseen a reduction in electricity consumption of 8 per cent since 2011 and is on track to deliver a reduction of $180M in power bills by 2020. Today Efficiency Nova Scotia is an internationally recognised success story in the field of energy efficiency, responsible for creating an industry employing around 1,000 people.
The news of Dr. Wheeler’s appointment was greeted warmly by Chancellor Annette Verschuren, saying, “As Chancellor of Cape Breton University I am delighted that Dr. Wheeler has been appointed to lead an independent review of energy efficiency options for Alberta. The Alberta Government is tackling the climate change crisis in a serious and committed way, and must be applauded for making energy efficiency a central part of the Alberta provincial climate strategy. Dr. Wheeler’s track record on successfully leading multi-stakeholder energy policy reviews in Nova Scotia speaks for itself. He brings transparency, integrity and a sensitivity to stakeholder interests that is crucial in resolving complex challenges in energy policy.”
Dr. Wheeler’s work will be voluntary and unpaid, and he will do the work using untaken vacation allowance.
“I am honoured to have been asked by the Minister Phillips to oversee this review with my distinguished fellow panellists and we look forward to engaging with stakeholders across Alberta to ensure that the proposed new Agency delivers maximum value for Albertans and for Canada: economically, socially and environmentally,” says Dr. Wheeler. “These are exciting times for Alberta and for the country as we begin to decouple economic growth from carbon pollution. The Alberta Government is showing commendable leadership in this regard and it is a great privilege for me to be asked to help.”
Full details of the Alberta Government announcement may be found here.