March 23, 2023 — Alberta Ecotrust Foundation today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind-in-Canada pilot, Lightspark Engage — a free and user-friendly online platform that allows homeowners to assess their energy use, identify potential cost savings, and show how they could reduce their home carbon footprint.
“We’re excited to support the launch of this engagement tool and hope it adds to conversations happening in our communities about residential greenhouse gas emissions and drive actions that tangibly reduce them,” said Mike Mellross, Program Director, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation. “With this tool, homeowners are really empowered to improve their own energy performance (and save money on their monthly bills) while reducing their carbon footprint — and that’s important for all Albertans.”
With support from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, this digital home energy labels pilot project for Edmonton and Calgary uses technology from Vancouver-based cleantech software company Lightspark. The platform uses publically available data to predict how much energy a home uses. In Alberta, carbon-based energy sources are prevalent, so creating efficiency is important for greenhouse gas emission reduction. With Lightspark Engage, digital home energy labels are displayed on an interactive map so homeowners can easily compare the energy performance of different homes and understand the potential upgrades and retrofits that can be done to improve their home’s performance.
Lightspark Engage is the first automatic digital home energy labeling program in Canada. The platform provides a free and accessible way for homeowners to gauge their home’s energy efficiency and access recommendations for how it might be improved. Labels on the platform are not based on a home’s actual operations or its measured energy use, and the energy labels on the Lightspark Engage platform are not intended to replace EnerGuide home energy audits, which are still required to access the federal and local incentives and financing tools.
Homeowners in Edmonton and Calgary can try Lightspark Engage at Lightspark.ca. Mike Mellross, Program Director, Alberta Ecotrust is available for comment on this exciting project.
To learn more, see also the press release from Lightspark.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to support innovative solutions that will help families to enhance their energy efficiency. We are pleased to be working with Low Carbon Cities Canada and the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation to continue the deployment of impactful technologies that can reduce emissions while improving home energy efficiency.” - The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
“We’re excited to support the launch of this engagement tool and hope it adds to conversations happening in our communities about residential greenhouse gas emissions and drive actions that tangibly reduce them. With this tool, homeowners are really empowered to improve their own energy performance (and save money on their monthly bills) while reducing their carbon footprint — and that’s important for all Albertans.” - Mike Mellross, Program Director, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
“We’re excited to deliver this groundbreaking pilot that helps Albertans understand how they can improve their home comfort while reducing costs. As an impact-driven software company, it's exciting to be part of it, and we’re grateful for the support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and Alberta Ecotrust Foundation.” - James Riley, chief executive officer, Lightspark Software Inc.
“Our role as a funder is to support efforts that help the real estate industry and Albertans keep pace and adapt to the many changes our stakeholders have shared with us that they are facing. Not only does this pilot project explore the impact of emerging technology such as Lightspark’s platform, but Alberta Ecotrust ensures that it also thoughtfully equips real estate professionals with the expertise to meet the demands of their clients on emerging property practices in home energy efficiency” - Patti Morris, executive director, Alberta Real Estate Foundation
“Since funding was announced in January, 2022, we’ve been anticipating the arrival of Engage. This interface is simple to use, and I know Edmonton REALTORS® will benefit from the types of conversations it will allow them to have as they educate people on important factors when it comes to buying and selling a home.”- Allan Font, Chief Operating Officer, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
About Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to leading urban climate change action through community-based initiatives in Alberta, Canada. Its mission is to empower Albertans to take action on environmental issues by providing grants, fostering partnerships, and building networks of support. Its focus areas include water, land use, and climate change. Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is a founding member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network that includes seven centres across Canada. LC3 is part of an investment by the Government of Canada to accelerate urban climate solutions and help achieve Canada’s climate goal of becoming net-zero by 2050. To learn more about our programs and how you can get involved, visit us at albertaecotrust.com.
About the Climate Innovation Fund
As an LC3 centre, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation received a $43.4 million endowment from the Government of Canada to create the Climate Innovation Fund. The Fund provides programming in Calgary and Edmonton to help identify, invest in, and scale up solutions that cover a range of climate-positive interventions to reduce urban emissions and ensure an equitable, just future for all Albertans. Key project areas include Building Better & Retrofitting Wiser, Moving on Mobility, and Decarbonization & Renewable Energy. For more information, visit albertaecotrust.com/climate-innovation-fund
About Alberta Real Estate Foundation
Created under the Alberta Real Estate Act, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation is a nonprofit organization that makes strategic investments, forms partnerships, and supports initiatives that benefit Albertans through the real estate industry. Since 1991, the Foundation has invested $27.5 million in nearly 700 initiatives across Alberta. The initiatives we fund advance and improve real estate-related education for professionals and consumers, law reform, and research, and seek innovative industry and community solutions. A stronger real estate industry is a stronger Alberta. Visit us at aref.ab.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Maureen Ezeodumegwu, Communications Manager, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation