Home builder licensing and the PACE program

By Shaye Anderson for the Leduc Representative

I am so proud to represent this area as the MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, but I also have the honour of being the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I do a lot of work for my constituents, and I want to share with you some of the other work that I do in my role as Minister.

One of the pieces of legislation I am most proud of is the New Home Buyer Protection Amendment Act, which established licensing requirements for residential builders. Home construction companies now need a license to obtain building permits for new homes. They are required to provide information about their corporate structure, history of building homes and compliance with safety and consumer legislation.

Consumers can consult a new online registry that contains important builder information in order to make an informed choice. Licensing homebuilders supports our many trustworthy building
companies and helps distinguish them from those few builders who put homebuyers at risk.

More than $10 billion is invested annually in new residential construction in Alberta. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you can make, and we have made sure that Albertans will be protected when they buy a new home.

Another piece of legislation that I am working on is An Act to Enable Clean Energy Improvements, which would give municipalities the option to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE programs allow home and business owners to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes and businesses without putting any money down.

The financing is repaid through the building owner’s property taxes, and the savings generated are often greater than the annual repayment. Upgrades can include energy efficient upgrades or renewable energy systems such as solar panels, high-insulation windows, and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.

I am incredibly excited about this initiative - PACE programs have been adopted by regions across North America and have generated nearly $6 billion in economic activity. At least 15 new jobs and $2.5 million in economic output have been created for every $1 million in PACE spending in North America. PACE programs are good for homeowners, they are good for the environment, and they are good for municipalities.

Being your MLA and the Minister of Municipal Affairs is a great honour, and I am grateful for the trust you have put in me and for the opportunity to help make this province a better place for everyone.