Government of Alberta Announces New PACE Legislation

If passed, An Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements would give municipalities the option to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The initiative would allow home and business owners to make their spaces more energy-efficient, without putting any money down. ACA lobbied for the introduction of PACE programming for Alberta to increase market opportunities for our members.

“ACA feels strongly that PACE programs offer a financially viable way to retrofit older buildings, or for new buildings to meet future environmental standards. It also offers a method for investment which does not create costs to the taxpayer,” said Paul Verhesen, Past Chair, Alberta Construction Association.

Financing for energy-efficient upgrades or renewable energy systems such as solar panels, high-insulation windows and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems would be repaid through the building owner’s property taxes. Often, the savings generated by the PACE upgrades would be greater than the annual repayment.

The PACE program would also stimulate local economies and help create jobs. In North America, every $1 million in PACE project spending has resulted in at least 15 new jobs and $2.5 million in economic output.

Since first implemented in California in 2008, PACE programs have expanded to every region in the United States, generating nearly $6 billion in economic activity. A number of Canadian jurisdictions, including Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec, have also adopted PACE legislation, increasing economic activity and creating local jobs.

For information on the legislation and the media release please click the following links:

Media Release
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation

ACA Submits OHS Regulations Comments

ACA have been asked for input on the new regulations in regards to Occupational Health and Safety by the government.  As such we have sent a letter outlining a few of our concerns regarding the changes that are being made and the language surrounding those changes.

This was done in consultation with our Safety WCB committee and we thank them for their input on this file. We will also be meeting with OHS Administration later this month to further express our concerns, and lobby for changes to some of the regulations.

 To read the full letter click here.

 

ACA Moves Forward on Prompt Pay

On April 6th, the ACA Board discussed prompt pay and a motion unanimously approved which calls for the following:

“ACA proceed as follows on Prompt Pay: Advocate the Provincial Government to initiate a 3rd party review of the entire project chain including consultants for the construction industry in Alberta”.

ACA has been addressing the prompt pay issue for several years and during that time has worked with owners, members, and other stakeholders to create a number of points of consensus:

  • Creation of a multi-stakeholder ad hoc committee in recognition that industry consensus is valued, including dialogue with industry associations representing industrial owners, the residential sector, and the design community.
  • One outcome of the ad hoc Committee was collaboration with Alberta Infrastructure to introduce contract language concerning payment and progressive release of holdback.
  • ACA has written public sector owners across Alberta urging their adoption of the Alberta Infrastructure terms.
  • ACA continues to promote adoption by other owners, including Alberta Health Services, the University of Alberta and Edmonton Public Schools.
  • ACA has also acted on a recommendation of the ad hoc committee to work with LCAs to promote education and adoption of best practices for payment.
  • Consequently, ACA’s Board has supported multi-stakeholder “Optimizing the Payment Process” workshops to improve payment processes. A best practices report will be produced in Spring 2018 from these workshops.

ACA has followed the review and recent passage in Ontario of Bill 142 to include prompt pay in a revised liens act. The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has initiated in 2018 a review of Manitoba liens legislation.  The Saskatchewan Construction Association is advocating for prompt pay legislation. ACA has also responded to the 3rd party review of prompt payment for federal government contracts.

ACA would participate to support the review process.

ACA’s Board believes that:

  • Such a review should be comprehensive and consider changes to relevant legislation including the Builders Lien Act
  • Such a review encourage prompt payment (and progressive release of holdback) terms be specified in provincial procurements and where the Province contributes more than 50% of project funds
  • The review consider the promptness of payment from prime consultant to sub-consultant, as restricted cash flow impacts the quality of documents prepared for tender and post award contract administration

ACA will continue to partner with Local Construction Associations to develop workshops to promote the best practices produced through the Optimizing the Payment workshops, so that progress can be achieved even while a review is underway.