Recreation Energy Conservation Program

Recreation facilities typically use more energy and produce more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than other municipal facilities. The Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) Program helps municipally-owned recreation facilities reduce energy use and GHG emissions by providing financial rebates to help identify energy-saving opportunities and implement energy-saving projects.

Through the REC Program, municipalities can receive rebates for scoping audits and engineering studies that support investment decisions in addition to rebates for implementing energy efficient retrofits in their facilities. For more information, please review the program guidebook. Missed the webinar? Download the webinar presentation slidedeck here.

Who can participate?

  1. Municipalities: all designated municipalities within the Province of Alberta that meet the definition of "municipality" as per Section 1(1)s of the Municipal Government Act.
  2. Community-related organizations: non-profit community-related organizations (CROs) are eligible to participate in the REC Program if the Project is within a municipally-owned facility.
    Note: While CROs are eligible to participate, the Municipality must submit the REC Application and be the signatory to the Offer Letter. 

What types of facilities are eligible to receive funding through the REC Program?

Eligible facilities must be recreationally-focused and utilize complex and high energy consuming systems. The following municipally-owned recreation facility types are eligible for the REC Program:

  • Arenas and curling rinks;
  • Aquatic centres and swimming pools;
  • Dry sport centres such as facilities that do not include ice surfaces or aquatic facilities;
  • Multiplexes such as facilities that include a combination of dry sports, ice surfaces, and aquatic facilities;
  • Athletic parks such as football or soccer parks with high-intensity lighting; and
  • Other recreationally-focused facilities deemed eligible by the MCCAC.

What types of facilities are ineligible to receive funding through the REC Program?​

  • Facilities under construction or newly constructed;
  • Public gathering spaces such as community halls;
  • Non-profit facilities who own their facility;
  • Agricultural societies;
  • Private facilities;
  • Facilities operated by a for-profit business or organization, including facilities that are located on lands owned by a municipality or leased from a municipality;
  • Provincially or federally operated buildings located on municipal lands; and
  • Other facilities deemed ineligible by the MCCAC.

How much funding is available?
The REC Program will provide rebates in accordance with the rebate rates in Tables 1 through 3. 

Table 1: Scoping Audit Rebates

Offer Rebates and Funding Maximums Requirements and Limitations
Scoping Audit Up to 100% of pre-GST Scoping Audit costs to a maximum of:
• $8,000 for dry sports centres
• $10,000 for arenas and curling rinks
• $10,000 for aquatic centres and pools
• $12,000 for multiplexes
• Cost estimate required to determine eligibility and maximums

• Audit must be completed by pre-approved Program Ally contractors

• Ineligible if the facility has undergone a similar audit within the previous 24 months

Table 2: Engineering Study Rebates

Offer Rebates and Funding Maximums Requirements and Limitations
Engineering Study Up to 100% of pre-GST Engineering Study costs to a maximum of $20,000 for all recreational facility building types • Cost estimate and invoice required from contractor to determine eligibility and caps

• Study must be completed by pre-approved Program Ally contractors

• Ineligible if the facility has undergone a similar study within the previous 24 months

Table 3: Implementation Project Rebates

Implementation Projects will fund eligible Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) on an individual basis and be capped at the dollar amount that buys the measures simple payback to a maximum of one year or to 75% of capital costs, whichever occurs first. Simple payback is calculated by dividing the capital cost of implementing the ECM by the annual cost savings produced by the ECMs energy savings. 

Note: If valid project information such as the expected energy and GHG savings are not available or provided within an application, a Scoping Audit or Engineering Study must be completed prior to proceeding with the Implementation Project. Lighting projects may use the REC Lighting Calculator to estimate these savings without the need for a Scoping Audit or Engineering Study.

Offer Rebates and Funding Maximums Requirements and Limitations
Implementation Project The lesser of 75% of pre-GST Energy Conservation Measure costs, OR the amount required to reach 1-year simple payback maximum.

• Cost estimate and invoice required from contractor to determine eligibility and caps

• ECMs with a simple payback of less than one year without rebates are ineligible

• Projects must have a total installed cost of $10,000 or greater

Applicants will be placed into the first-come, first-served queue in the order in which they submit a completed REC Application to the satisfaction of the Third-Party Administrator and receive and execute an Offer Letter from the MCCAC. To enable broad participation by Alberta municipalities the total program funding for Scoping Audits, Engineering Studies, and Implementation Projects distributed to a single Municipality is capped at $750,000 over the program lifespan.  

How do I apply?
Interested participants are invited to Submit an Expression of Interest for REC as a first step. 

Where do I find additional information?
General questions about the REC Program (ie. eligibility) may be directed to:

Questions regarding REC application status may be directed to: