The energy rebate program returns for a 9th year to city residents looking for a little saving on energy efficient purchases.
The popular HatSmart energy rebate program will return once again next year. Medicine Hat city council voted last night to extend the program that will see the return of rebates on solar power, clothes dryers air sealing your home and more. Councillor Kris Samraj voted against the program, not because he doesn't like it, but because an overall objective of the program is undefined. Samraj says, "We don't have any overall strategic objective that we're trying to accomplish there. So if you don't have a goal you're aiming for, it's hard to know when you get there. It's hard to know how effective the program is in reaching that goal." Councillor Phil Turnbull says the program remains popular and is more than just a rebate program. Turnbull explains, "I think this is a great education program that gives you rebates. So you can get involved and actually see the results of saving energy. I think we should expand it going forward." Mayor Ted Clugston likes the simplicity of the program and that it's paid for through surcharges on utility bills. Clugston says, "It is immensely popular, I think everybody knows that for 10 years now we are charging that energy conservation charge on gas and electricity. We're trying to give it back to things that save gas and electricity. So I think it's fairly simple in that manner, it's not very convoluted." Full details of the 2018 HatSmart program will be available soon on the city website. ~~ Warren Affleck