At their June 10 meeting, Okotoks town council voted on whether or not to reopen their Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP).

The program was launched in January and allowed for residents to apply for a small interest loan to assist with the cost of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for their homes.

It was funded by a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, administered by Alberta Municipalities.

During the meeting, Environmental Team Lead Jinny Toffelmire explained that the plan going in was to cap the program at 25-28 applications, which happened very quickly.

"Within one week of the program opening up, the program intake was closed. So to date, there are 17 projects that are on the waitlist. Alberta Municipalities indicated that after Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge, the Okotoks program had the busiest intake period before the maximum number of applications was reached."

Since the program was launched, upgrades have been completed at a steady pace.

Council was faced with two suggestions as to how to proceed with the program, those being to keep it on pause until January 2025 or reopen it sooner.

While holding the pause would give town administration more time to complete the existing applications, it would also risk slowing the program's momentum.

Toffelmire explained that taking a staggered approach would result in the town never having a good grasp of the demand for the program in the community.

"Reopening the program would give administration and council a better idea of the demand and popularity or the program among residents. Having this information would provide a clearer understanding of the program's future potential once the FCM grant funding and loan financing are depleted."

Council ultimately voted unanimously in favour of reopening the CEIP program within the next few months, starting with the current waitlisted applications.

More information on the program can be seen here.

The Radiothon is tomorrow, Thursday on The Eagle 100.9The Radiothon is tomorrow, Thursday on The Eagle 100.9