Energy Futures Roadshows Helping to Deepen Connections With Communities Across Alberta

By Energy Futures Lab

Energy Futures Roadshows continue to deliver in Alberta communities with the support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Since 2018 the Energy Futures Lab has been supporting the Roadshows to visit communities across Alberta with a tailored workshop meant to explore and identify actions for a successful energy transition.

The purpose of the Energy Futures Roadshow is to support Albertan communities to explore their unique opportunities and challenges arising from energy transition. This is achieved by delivering a multi-day workshop in the Roadshow community, staying connected to other participating communities through a peer-to-peer network (managed by the EFL), and by participation at Community Accelerators. The communities that have participated to date include: Crowsnest Pass, Devon, Hinton, Grande Prairie and Drayton Valley. Three more Roadshows are currently being planned for 2020.

As energy transition presents unique challenges specific to each community, the Roadshow design team works closely with champions from each of the communities to ensure that the group focuses on solutions that are relevant to the community. To arrive at the best initiatives and actions for the community to undertake in the energy transition, a diverse mix of people are invited to participate in each Roadshow. The diverse participant mix typically includes City, Town and Municipal District Council members and administrative staff, members of industry, community groups and organizations, staff from colleges and universities, youth and seniors and many other community members. To date there have been over 90 organizations represented at the Roadshows.

Following the in-person Roadshows, each community participates in a peer-to-peer learning network who connect online monthly. The network calls have allowed participants to exchange knowledge and lessons learned from their experiences with energy transition in their communities, as well as provide one another with recommendations to advance specific initiatives.

The Communities Accelerators bring together EFL Fellows, industry members from a wide swath of Alberta (including the AREF) and community members and municipal leaders to work on accelerating initiatives that deeply impact their communities. The most recent Accelerator in March of 2020 focused on the following three initiatives:

  • Advancing the Alberta-wide Solar Lab Project: Supporting smaller and rural communities in Alberta to bridge the gap between desiring to implement community-owned renewable energy projects and actually doing so.
  • Creating and Leveraging a Regional Electric Vehicle Mobility Vision: Working together to understand regional eMobility opportunities for innovation, economic development and tourism in Northwest Alberta by learning from successful implementations in Alberta and BC (e.g. Peaks to Prairies).
  • Accelerating Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in Alberta through the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP): Exploring PACE as a financing tool, sharing best practices in North America (including Alberta’s version, CEIP) and working with other committed stakeholders to meaningfully accelerate this program in other Alberta communities.

The Roadshows supported by AREF are helping to create more resilient communities through the energy transition, by meeting them where they are at and fostering a unique approach to communities ready to create an energy system that is fit for the future. As one Roadshow participant said: “I am excited for new opportunities for partnerships, collaboration and to move to actionable items that can begin the energy transition in my community.”

The Energy Futures Lab would like to thank AREF for making this opportunity possible. It is very rewarding to our organization to see positive results achieving the purpose of the work we do together, and we cannot do this work without the support of organizations like the AREF!

Foundation introduces Chair Charlie Ponde

As of January 1st 2016, Charlie Ponde became the Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s 13th Chair of the Board of Governors.

Charlie was appointed to Alberta Real Estate Foundation Board of Governors in 2012 by the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA). Prior to joining the Board, Charlie had always followed and observed past Governors and the actions of Alberta Real Estate Foundation. “I admired the way AREF was quietly making an impact by funding numerous projects in the province,” Charlie said, “I always wanted to get involved and be part of the work AREF was doing.”

Charlie Ponde was born in India and completed his university education in the city of Mumbai. Charlie immigrated to Canada 48 years ago. After working in the dental field, Charlie entered the real estate profession in 1992, to fulfil a passion for buying and selling real estate and for working with people. Charlie has been an active and full-time member of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton ever since.

Charlie was elected and served as the President of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton in 2009 and now is a Life Member of the Association. He served on numerous committees relating to real estate including AREX Claims Committee, the Edmonton Realtors’ Charitable Foundation (Governor and President), the Arbitration and Professional Standards Committee, the Technology Committee and the Government and Political Action Committee.

An active member of the community, Charlie has been involved with the Affordable Housing Committee, Sign of Hope Campaign – Catholic Social Services, The Christmas Bureau, Realty Watch and the Neighborhood Watch Programs, St. Albert Lottery Board, St. Albert’s City Plan 2000 Advisory Committee (Municipal Development Plan), the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association and is a Director with CARP, a seniors national advocacy organization.

Charlie’s first priority in taking on the role of Chair is to ensure there is effective communication between the Board of Governors, staff and AREF’s stakeholders. “I may be the Chair but I feel it is a team effort. In order for AREF to be effective, the Board and staff must be on the same page, working to enhance the Real Estate industry and make a difference in Alberta together.”

The Foundation would like to express their deepest gratitude to Gary Willson who will be stepping into the role as Past-Chair. His leadership and experience in planning, industry and community engagement has enhance the Foundations profile and helped increase its reach throughout the province through collaboration with industry and communities.

Charlie will serve a two year term as Chair of the Board. His experience in the industry, insight on community initiatives and remarkable networking skills will bring much value to the Foundation.