Gibbons is reducing its carbon footprint and saving money at the same time. 

The town received an $89,146.50 grant from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) to upgrade the lighting at the Gibbons Arena, Curling Club and Cultural Centre. 

The MCCAC is a partnership of Alberta Municipalities and Rural Municipalities of Alberta. The granting body will provide a portion of the funding for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Gibbons’ assistant CAO, Mike Dubreuil. 

“We had some very old lighting from the ’70s; they were sucking up a lot of energy,” he said. “Through [the grant], we received approximately three-quarter funding, and on that project, with the cost savings, we’re anticipated to pay back the remaining one-quarter funds in about a year and a half through savings and operation costs.” 

The total cost of upgrading the lighting to LED bulbs was $122,500. The project will result in a reduction of 49.2 tons of CO2 emissions per year, a 72,400 KWh decrease in electricity consumption per year and an annual savings of $11,100 on electrical utility expenses.

Dubreil called the project a win-win-win, with less electricity being used, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the cost impact to taxpayers, and the necessary upgrade was funded primarily through a grant program. 

He hopes to announce more projects in the near future as the town will continue to work with MCCAC and look for ways to reduce its environmental impact.