Canada is one of the largest consumers of energy in the entire world. In fact, Canadian residents use three times the amount of energy than Italians and this is largely due to long winters, longer travel commutes and an economy that is largely based on industries that are known to consume high amounts of energy, such as forestry, mining, refining and steel manufacturing. While Alberta is known to be an energy producing province in Canada, it is also one province that uses much more energy than others in the country.
How Alberta Stacks Up to Other Provinces
Alberta is one of the main energy producing areas in Canada, however, it is also one that uses the most energy, including renewable energy. There has also been an increase in the population in Alberta, which has caused energy consumption to soar. During the summer months, cooling costs account for much energy use and during the long Canadian winters, the province uses the most energy. Alberta is also known to have more transportati9n, which is another cause for increased usage of energy, making this province one of the areas in Canada that consumes the most amount of electricity and energy annually.
Seeing as Alberta is also the main province for energy generation, this also leads to more usage than in other parts of Canada, especially the increased oil sands energy consumption. Overall, Alberta may be an energy rich region, but it is one that consumes the most throughout the year.
Various Sources of Alberta Energy
Alberta is an energy rich region in Canada and the province makes use of many forms of energy, including conventional oil, minerals, coal, natural gas and the Alberta oil sands. Water is used with the extraction of oil sands, so the energy use is increased. The oil sands energy consumption is quite high, yet it remains a top way for Canada to produce oil on a regular basis to provide energy to many other countries. With the many sources of energy within Alberta, there is no shortage, though usage is on the rise as are the costs for homeowners. Natural gas is the main form of energy in Alberta, accounting for more than 77% of the total energy use in the province.
Renewable energy is a main concern and focus in Alberta and by 2030, the government hopes that more than 30% of electricity use and consumption in Alberta will come from renewable energy sources. There are over 950 wind turbines throughout Alberta that contribute 9% of the energy generation. Solar power is also a popular option and in Alberta, there are over 333 days of sunshine per year, the most in Canada. Solar power is used to power many remote monitoring and control systems in the gas and oil industry in the province. Hydroelectric and Biomass resources are also renewable energy options that have increased energy generation.
Residential Energy Pricing
For many years, Alberta relied heavily on coal-fired production of electricity, but the province is trying to move away from that, which has resulted in a government cap in electricity prices. The cap was implemented in 2017 and makes sure that residents of Alberta never pay more than 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour for the household. This rate is approximately twice as high as the current rate of 3.8 cents per hour.
The average Alberta household uses 7200 kWh of electricity annually. This amount will vary based on the size and type of home as well as overall usage. Generally, a single detached home will use 5.2 kWh/ft2 per year and in comparison, a row house has a slightly increased usage of 6.2 kWh. In regards to natural gas use, the average use is 120 GJ per year. Space heating is the number one form of energy consumption, making up 63% of use in an average home. This is followed by water heating at 19% and appliance use at 12%. Lighting and space cooling are also factored in to average usage in Alberta.
Upgrading appliances and switching to LED lighting will help reduce the kWh per month usage and there are many services and companies throughout Alberta that can help make a home more energy efficient.