Category Archives: General

Nuclear Power Plant

Alberta Goes Nuclear

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As efforts to ‘green’ our energy production, the province looks at new ways to incorporate nuclear fission in oil extraction and electricity production.

If the mention of nuclear energy has you conjuring up images of Homer Simpson and the three-eyed fish, you may be surprised to find out how reliable, efficient and clean nuclear energy really can be. Although it is a relatively new idea in Western Canada, Eastern Canada has benefitted from nuclear power production for years. In fact, the most recent data (July 2021) indicates that approximately 15% of our total energy production in Canada is nuclear generated. This is thanks to 19 nuclear reactors, primarily in Ontario, using this emission-free alternative to carbon-generated electricity.

In 2018, the New Brunswick provincial government committed to a $10M investment in Small Modular Reactor (SMR) research. The following December (2019), Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan committed to collaborate on the development and use of SMRs before Alberta formally joined the memorandum of understanding in summer of 2020.

Nuclear Fission

SMRs (and nuclear reactors in general) utilize a process of nuclear fission to harness the energy released when atoms split. To accomplish this, uranium is acquired and prepared. Uranium is first enriched in a multi-step process, then pressed from powder into small pellets which are loaded into hundreds of sealed metal rods and bound together into groups of ‘assemblies’. These assemblies each contain approximately 200 rods which are immersed in water, which cools the uranium and moderates the rate of neutrons produced when the reactor is active. The extreme heat which is produced through the process of nuclear fission is used to power a turbine which produces carbon-free electricity.

To put the term ‘high-temperature’ into perspective, a decommissioned reactor must be immersed in water for up to five years until it is cool enough to be removed and stored.

Using Small Modular Reactors brings with it many advantages, proponents of the technology maintain. First, these small reactors do not require the financial input or infrastructure needed for traditional nuclear reactors. These units are small enough to be manufactured at a centralized facility and shipped out to site.

Because of their size and portability, SMRs could effectively generate electricity even in remote locations. While a traditional nuclear reactor requires access to the electrical grid for discharging the huge amounts of energy produced, SMRs control their output based on demand. Without construction lead-time, SMRs can be operational almost immediately and can be added to, as needed. This means that return on investment begins as soon as the SMR is operational. The flexibility offered by SMRs is not exclusive to remote residential communities, since the high-temperature steam can also be used to power oil extraction services.

Since nuclear energy is emission-free, Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, says he hopes it will help cut overall emissions “… without making Alberta’s energy sector uncompetitive”. The ability to support large facilities, such as water treatment plants in remote locations, has huge implications for the province — but there are many facets to the discussion which must be carefully considered.

Nuclear Concerns

Nuclear fuel is among the most robust forms of energy available, producing millions of times what can be achieved with a comparable amount of traditional fuel (such as gasoline). In this way, the difference in fuel-to-nuclear energy output could be likened to the difference in flow between a dripping faucet… and a tsunami. The resulting products of nuclear fission are, however, highly radioactive and they retain their radioactive properties for long periods of time. Cooling pools effectively block this radiation while cooling the assembly and SMRs would decrease the amount of time needed for cooling the assemblies. Nonetheless, this is the reason for concerns over nuclear waste (and, presumably, the reason that fish got its third eye). Nuclear waste (or tails) consists of depleted uranium and is typically stored in 14-ton cylinders. The cylinders are well insulated to retain the radiation and are even safe to touch.

According to, all of the nuclear waste produced in the United States to date could fill a football stadium 10 yards deep – but coal plants generate this much waste every hour.

Historical Controversy

Despite the numerous benefits of nuclear generated energy, Alberta has had an on-again, off-again relationship with nuclear in the past. Bruce Power, operator of the biggest nuclear plant in Canada on Lake Huron, walked away from plans to develop a $10B nuclear facility near Peace River in 2011. The company had been working for four years to bring the project to fruition but were ultimately not successful in alleviating concerns over potential impact to water sources and wildlife expressed by the community.

In 2008, a chapter of the Keep Alberta Nuclear Free Coalition was recognized in the Peace River Region and added vocal opposition to the debate and protests already active in the community. After two failed site proposals, the company rescinded its application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Instead of continuing its efforts to establish nuclear power in Alberta, Bruce Power returned its focus to their Ontario operations — investing $4.8 billion to refurbish two of its units by 2012.

Looking Forward

While nuclear waste is an important consideration in where and how we implement nuclear energy, the overall impact of nuclear waste has been a topic of significant misinformation. As Alberta steps further into nuclear technology research advancement, we can expect a more thorough understanding of how nuclear energy could support the province’s energy needs, as well as potential developments in nuclear medicine and how best to manage waste.

Burst Energy is proud to support Albertans, and we look forward to updating our Burst Energy Family about new developments in nuclear research as this effort begins to gain momentum and public support.

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Claresholm Solar Project Realised

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Just 125 kilometers south of Calgary in the municipality of Willow Creek, 1,280 acres of land is being put to use in a new kind of farming venture — solar energy farming.

Following the project’s 2019 approval by the Alberta Utilities Commission, a signed credit agreement in July 2020 marked the true beginning of Alberta’s most ambitious green energy project in the province’s history. The agreement, shared among ATB Financial, Fiera Infrastructure Private Debt Fund LP, and Telus Pensions Liability Hedging Master Trust, allocated up to $115 million of funds to this $200 million project.

For its part, the 132 MWac (AC capacity) state-of-the-art undertaking was set to offer more than 300 full-time employment opportunities throughout its 18-month construction period and will benefit the community through its long-term property tax input. The project’s territory covers eight quarter-sections of land, or 1,280 acres, making it the largest of its kind in Alberta.

Owned by the longstanding Granum Hutterite Colony, the land will make it possible to reduce emissions by approximately 149,000 MT CO2 (Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide). Farm-generated solar power will be sold primarily to TC Energy through a Power Purchasing Agreement, while the remainder will contribute to the Alberta Wholesale Pool. The site announced operation as of April 29, 2021.

Site Selection

The site was chosen due to its soil salinity, resulting low crop production, and proximity to transmission lines. The Granum 604S substation connects the power plant to the Interconnected Electric System and has no effect on the surrounding prairie or native vegetation. Panels are elevated by one metre on steel structures and positioned at an angle, extending the height to just over three metres. Elevation and shade provided by the structures means the area may be used as grazing pasture.

Solar Opportunity in Alberta

The solar infrastructure will generate power throughout the daylight hours all year long when energy needs are highest and the most expensive. Although the effectiveness of solar generation is limited in the winter when Alberta sees less than eight hours of daylight, summer generation peaks at over 17 hours of daily generation opportunity (weather dependent).

Albedo and Global Solar Generation Opportunity

Some researchers have turned their attention to deserts lately, considering the potential for these, typically barren, environments to power the world’s energy systems. But the question is about more than, Can it be done? — environmentalists ask whether it should?

The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest expanse of desert land and has the potential to meet the world’s current demand by more than four times using solar generated power. But what sounds like a no-brainer becomes more complex as soon as its collective influence on the environments beyond the Sahara is considered. While widespread solar power generation significantly decreases reliability on fossil fuels, its effect on the soil’s surface is notable.

A surface’s level of reflectivity is indicated by its albedo — the higher the albedo, the higher the reflectivity value. Desert sand is highly reflective and, therefore, carries a higher albedo than the black surfaces of the solar panels that would cover it. This is relevant because, while sand reflects heat outward, solar panels release 85% of the energy as heat near the soil.

Scientists used a climate model to demonstrate that heating up a large portion of the Saharan desert floor would increase the contrast between ocean temperature and land temperature and ultimately result in more rain. Plants would grow more easily in this new environment and would absorb the light beaming onto the soil and foliage rather than reflecting it. A subsequent evaporation and condensation cycle means that vegetation would do well while clean energy is being simultaneously produced. So, what’s the catch?

All About Balance

Subsequent studies have indicated that, although local benefits are real, a project of this size and scope could cause temperature increases globally as its heat is dispersed throughout the atmosphere. Extrapolations have warned of changes in the rainforests of the Amazon, potentially causing drought and harm to habitat, and an increase in extreme weather along the coasts of North America and Eastern Asia.

The challenge, then, is determining where and how large these solar programs can be implemented to derive maximum power generation for local benefit without placing undue hardship on other natural systems and cycles. To date, the largest global solar farms are located in desert or desert-like climates.

Doing Our Part

As our province sees the growing opportunity for further green energy to be placed onto the electrical grid, our energy sources become more diversified and foster less reliance on fossil fuels to power our homes, hospitals and other infrastructure. This trend toward greener energy production can be further supported by making small changes to our energy use such as limiting air-conditioner use or shutting lights out when leaving a room. For more about how you can save on your power bill, see our previous blog entry.

Thinking about making a switch to a new retailer? Call us at 1-866-516-3085 or request a complimentary bill review and quote at

mug and mittens

Prices Soar as Alberta Recovers from Cold Snap

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2020 was a year to remember (though some would gladly forget!). Still, as we stepped into 2021, nature had a surprise up its sleeve for Albertans. Frigid temperatures dipped to -40°C and held there, causing energy demand to rise steeply and prices to increase as a result.

We’re no snowflakes where living in cold conditions is concerned, but this year’s circumstances contributed to a higher demand than in previous years. With more people unemployed or staying at home due to Covid restrictions, residences required more power than in previous years and the early winter sunset meant demand was up throughout the day, peaking between 5 pm and 7 pm This increase was felt, not just in Alberta, but in North America generally. Floating rates for electricity saw increases from 5 ¢/kWh to 13 ¢/kWh in only a few days the AESO (Alberta Electric System Operator) reported demand of 11,729 MW — a 31 MW increase from January 2020 (or the equivalent of 20,000 additional homes).

With Alberta’s power grid supported by 26,000 kilometers of lines and 235 units for generation, the province was able to meet the demand but neared a level 3 outage. Levels are indicative of how much energy is being used and what reserve remains. Level 1 indicates that all energy resources are in use, with some reserve remaining while a level 2 requires additional electricity to be brought in from producers outside the area. A declaration of level 3 would have resulted in necessary rolling blackouts to support our province’s most urgent needs. Yes, even the mailman who delivers in rain, sleet or snow was forced to issue a code yellow, indicating a possible disruption in service due to these extreme temperatures.

ENMAX has reported that for every ten degree drop in weather, the average home uses 40% more energy to maintain comfortable temperature and adequate lighting.

Crisis in Texas

In a bizarre weather event, a polar vortex also moved into the state of Texas last month, causing power outages as far as Mexico. Due to the state’s infrastructure being built to support high temperatures, it was not equipped to provide the emergency support required and the situation became dangerous for many Americans who struggled to stay warm, with some outages lasting as long as three days.

Contributing to the infrastructure problem was the fact that green energy generation was hindered by snow and ice-covered solar panels, frozen-in-place windmills, and frozen piping at more conventional generation facilities, further restricting supply while demand rose to critical heights and crisis ensued. Scarcity pricing rose from 3 ¢/mmBTU USD to over 500, leading variable costs to rise by 100x their normal price for this time of year.

save money

Controlling Pricing by Controlling Use

Despite our understanding that utility prices increase in the winter months, there is much you can do at home to ensure that you are making the most of the energy you need and cutting use where you don’t.

  1. Plugging in Your Vehicle — Many Albertans are in the habit of plugging in when they arrive home at the end of the day and unplugging before they leave the following morning. While plugging in is important, consider using a timer to limit the number of hours to between three and four hours to save unnecessary cost.
  2. How Hot is Your Water? — To conserve electricity, consider decreasing the temperature setting on your water heater to a lower temperature. With lower temperature, your water heater requires less energy and showers can still be comfortably warm.
  3. Out with the Old — Are you still using incandescent or halogen bulbs in your home? These bulbs use drastically more electricity than a newer LED light and provide the same quality lighting. Consider a switch to LED lighting and see decreases in your monthly power bill.
  4. Drying Laundry — Do you use your dryer for all of your family’s laundry? Decreasing reliance on the dryer will decrease your power charges and hanging clothes to dry is effective due to Alberta’s low humidity index.
  5. Fridges and Freezers — Are you running an additional beer fridge, freezer or refrigerator? Unplugging those that you don’t use daily decreases your energy use and puts money back in your pocket.
  6. Standby on Appliances — Do you know that appliances in your home are using electricity even when they’re not in use? Major appliances, like fridges, are in constant use but others, like televisions and computers, can be unplugged when not in use. Don’t know where to start? Wattage testers will show you which appliances draw the most standby power. Simply unplugging these appliances when not in use can have a considerable impact on your monthly power consumption.

We may not be able to do away with the harsh Alberta winters, but taking small steps to reduce your power use is not only a good practice for cost savings, it’s kinder to the environment too.

For more information about our electricity and natural gas services, visit

Goodbye and Good Riddance

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What Changes to the RRO Cap Means for Albertans

In October of 2018, Burst Customers were sent a twopart article which outlined concerns about Regulated Rate Option (RRO) providers such as Direct Energy who were being subsidized despite having divorced itself from Canadian investment. In 2018 alone, RRO providers were subsidized for any electricity rate above 6.8 cents/kWh…

… to the tune of over $70M in carbon tax dollars. Over the life of the capping legislation, it was predicted that Alberta taxpayers would pay over $700M in subsidies to large energy providers – some of whom do not even have a corporate presence in Canada.

Cause for Applause

The RRO cap and subsidy program came on the heels of the Alberta government’s 2016 decision to transition from an energy-only market to a capacity market where electricity was concerned. The change carried with it the potential for steep increases and general market price volatility and in order to mitigate risk, the subsidy program was put in place.

To be clear, the NDP implemented a subsidy program which pulled tax income from every Alberta taxpayer and only subsidized RRO providers. This meant that margins were guaranteed for Regulated Rate providers who already made up 50%-80% of the market share while variable rate providers were made ineligible for the same.

July 2019 saw industry pressure soar in favour of cancelling the move to a capacity market. Industry leaders were heard, and the capacity market implementation was put to rest. What does this mean? It means an end to the subsidy program and artificial pricing!

Levelling the Playing Field

Abandonment of the RRO cap subsidy means that after fall 2019, Alberta’s tax money will no longer go to funding RRO providers of which the total cost to taxpayers was set to run in excess of $388M over the course of the program! This is a big win for Alberta taxpayers as well as independent energy retailers like Burst! While this change does not mean any forthcoming changes to Burst Energy’s pricing strategy, it does make us more competitive in the Alberta energy market. Burst Energy’s pricing structure will remain at a rate of wholesale price plus 1 cent/kWh.

Your Support Matters

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our clients and their families for giving independent utility providers like us the chance to show that we can offer great value without the contracts, additional fees and outsourcing of customer service outside of Canada so often seen in larger energy providers like Direct Energy. Alberta is on the precipice of more economic change, no doubt, and uncertainty is the theme of so much of our dialogue right now. We hope that you will continue to recommend Burst Energy to the people in your life who deserve to benefit from an independent Alberta-based approach to their utility needs. True consumer choice carries more weight without artificial pricing programs, and we will continue to demonstrate that you’ve made the right choice by choosing to partner with Burst Energy!

In Gratitude,
Your Burst Energy Partners

The Power of a Penny

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The minting of the penny began in 1858 and was a part of Canada’s coinage system until its final minting in 2012. After nearly six years without the penny, it might seem easy to overlook the value of a cent. Where commodities are concerned, though, the penny is still a valuable piece of the conversation.

Pinching Pennies

What does commodity pricing mean for the average homeowner? Commodity pricing affects nearly all areas of pricing either directly or indirectly, from the cost of gas to the cost of a litre of milk. Families seeking to cut back on spending often look first to reign-in their spending on non-essentials such as dining out or entertainment (all the fun!). And while responsible spending is an honorable endeavor, we’re here to tell you that savings doesn’t always have to come at the expense of the fun you work so hard to have!

A Little Goes a Long Way

Many of us keep track of gas station pricing because we know that a penny or two difference in pump pricing impacts our total expenditures. We often take measures to make sure that we get the best possible price by gassing up before the long weekend price increase or making creative U-turns when we see better pricing on a competitor’s lot. But what about the price of the utilities that run in our homes for so many hours day in and day out? How much could we be saving if we reduced the expenditure per kilowatt by only a penny?

The Johnson Family pays $0.06/kWH for their electrical utilities. This family of four averages 9600 kWH annually, resulting in a total cost of $576.00. If they save just a penny per kWH, their annual price decreases to $480.00, saving them a total of $96.00 annually!

The Burst Advantage

All utility companies are not created equal – but they do purchase electricity for the same price. The price of electricity is determined by the pool price (the cost of a megawatt of power). Retailers purchase power at the pool price and add a discretionary premium to determine the customer rate per kWH.
Burst Energy has a simple formula for determining its retail rate – pool price plus a penny. That means that Burst pricing often beats those of its competitors. But that’s not all.

Putting Albertans First

If you knew that some gas stations were owned by international entities, meaning that your money would be sent out of Alberta to support a foreign market, would it impact your choice of gas station? We believe strongly in supporting our local economy. That means that the funds generated in Alberta stay in Alberta. Burst Energy is locally owned and operated, employing only within Alberta.
We encourage you to take a minute or two, and visit for a complimentary bill review and quote. Investing locally is easier than you think – and it could save you many pennies along the way!

Alberta’s Job Market – A Direct Cost (Vol II.)

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Valued Customers,

When we started Burst Energy some five years ago, we did so with a mind to offer great value to families and businesses in the province that we love. To that end, we continue to hold true to our tagline: By Albertans, For Albertans. That means that we operate and employ within our great province. Your customer service representatives answer calls from our call center in Calgary, and your bills are generated and sent through departments within Alberta. Heck, even the writer of this article is a contracted fellow Albertan.

We know that we could find great people anywhere, but the owners of Burst Energy feel strongly that the right strategy is to operate and employ within Alberta. We encourage our Burst customers to start a meaningful dialogue with the people that matter most to them about the importance of choosing a provider who is invested in Alberta’s future, even if that means that they select an alternative non-RRO retailer. We believe in Alberta’s potential to remain an economic stronghold in Canada, despite its current challenges.

So, to our Burst family we say thank you! We are proud to offer our services in a way that we can all feel good about – by Albertans, for Albertans.

Call: 1-866-516-3085



For your free utility consultation


Your Burst Energy Leadership Team

Alberta’s Job Market – A Direct Cost (Vol I.)

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Canadians angry as Direct Energy’s back-door exit from Canada means fewer jobs for Canadians, despite continued regulated rate subsidy.

Alberta’s resource sector has been in the spotlight recently, and for good reason. With the headlines showing potential for additional fiscal challenge, including a pipeline we own but can’t, to this point, operate; we are seeing grave shortcomings at the level of government. But that’s not all. International entities like Direct Energy are making business decisions that will have immediate and reverberating implications for Alberta’s economy, and more generally, Canada.

Background (2000-2004)
Direct Energy was purchased by UK company Centrica PLC in 2000. In 2004, Direct Energy/Centrica bought the right to Atco’s customer list, extending their customer base by approximately 1M. European ownership meant the consolidation of profits outside Canada’s borders and trading on the London exchange. While this was a concern for residents and economists alike, there were positive moves being made to support gas production, offering hope that this would counterbalance the ‘loss’.

Investing in Canada (2004-2017)
Among these strategic investments was the acquisition of CQ Energy, a Canadian exploration and production organization with significant operations in western Canada. Purchased in a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum International (40% ownership) from Suncor for 1 Billion dollars, CQ Energy Canada had ownership of 11 major Canadian facilities. At Dec 2016, CQ was producing 56 070 barrels of oil daily (of which 90% was natural gas).

Investment Loss (2017-Current)
2017 brought significant changes in Direct Energy’s operations as we saw the organization systematically divorce itself from Canadian investment. The divestment strategy, the company said, was part of a strategic move toward focusing on European assets. In line with this strategy, May 2017 saw the company sell-off its assets in Trinidad and Tobago.

On September 29, 2017, Direct Energy/Centrica sold its interest in CQ Energy for 722M to a joint partnership comprised of: Mercuria Energy Group (Switzerland), the Can-China Global Resource Fund (CCGRF), and MIE Holdings Corporation (China).

Job Loss
Direct Energy/Centrica has established call centers in Guatemala and Manila and has moved its billing departments to Texas where a third party (HCL India) handles billing services. Currently, all Canadian customer information is stored on servers outside of Canada, with its front office for billing coming (however misleadingly) from Calgary’s Post Office Station M.

Direct Energy, Atco, Enmax and Epcor are Alberta’s regulated rate providers (RROs), meaning that Direct Energy continues to receive subsidy by the millions of dollars every month despite having no meaningful Canadian presence.
With a socialist policy of subsidizing rates above 6.8 cents (Sept 2018 real cost 8.472 cents/kWh) combined with the loss of hundreds of jobs, Albertans have cause for significant concern. This year alone, Albertans will spend over 70 million of our carbon tax dollars in subsidy, and over 700 million over the life of the current RRO capping legislation.

Vote with your Business
We believe that the government of Alberta does a serious disservice to its constituents by continuing to funnel hard-earned tax dollars outside of the country without speaking openly about the available alternatives in electricity and natural gas. Burst Energy your local competitive retailer is available across Alberta and is offering fair and competitive energy rates.

So, to our Burst family we say thank you! We are proud to offer our services in a way that we can all feel good about – by Albertans, for Albertans.

Call: 1-866-516-3085
For your free utility consultation
Your Burst Energy Leadership Team

2018 Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championship

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Sponsored in part by Burst Energy
On Saturday, March 27, the Taber Community Centre in Taber, Alberta, welcomed 74 participants for the Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championships facilitated by Bodymasters Gym & Archery Center. Competitors demonstrated their skill set to an audience of supportive family and peers in either or all of the squat, bench press, and deadlift events. Categories varied, including Men/Women Open, Masters (40+), Juniors (20-23) and Teen (14-19).
The event’s organizer, Randy Sparks, owner of Bodymasters Gym and president of the Canadian Drug Free Power Lifting Association, says he loves to put on these competitions. Aiming for two such competitions annually, and having organized 2 world championships in powerlifting, he’s the right person for the job. Sparks says the single event format allows participants to elect to participate or abstain in any of the three events, based on interest or injury-related concerns.
With each participant following a different training pattern, it’s hard to say just how many hours are spent in preparation for events such as this. In his experience, Randy says it isn’t unusual to have competitors in the gym a minimum of 5 days per week for 90 minutes or more. For his part, he’s in the gym six days per week for 75 minutes – and that’s before counting hours spent assisting contestants with their own preparatory training for the event.

Participants each underwent on-site drug testing to screen for steroids, stimulants, diuretics and masking agents. To qualify, these participants must not have used any strength enhancement drugs for a minimum of 5 years. Prizes were awarded, including Burst Energy Sponsored supplements for Best Female and Best Male.

The hard work paid off for these contestants, with 26 Canadian records having been broken at this championship alone. First, second and third place prizes were awarded to the leading lifters in each category. Highlights of some of this year’s heaviest records include:

  • M. Malec (205lb class) lifting 660lbs. (over 3x his body weight!)
  • J. Lastuka (Best lift Male)(242lb class) set new Canadian records in all 3 male categories squatting 600lbs, benching 396, and deadlifting 629 lbs.
  • C. Orr (Best lift winner (W))- 123lb class) deadlifted an astounding 375lbs., bench pressed 156lbs., and squatted 292lbs. in the women’s category
  • It was the first competition for 59-year-old R. Gerlock (123lb class) who set a new women’s Canadian deadlift record of 275 lbs.
  • In teen Men’s, 18-year-old F. Rashleigh (220lb class) deadlifted a staggering 550lbs.

The family sport attracted the interest of Clay Sparks (242lb class), son of Randy Sparks, who competed in the squat and beat the previous Canadian record by more than 100lbs. at 549lbs.! No doubt a proud family moment! And who could forget – Burst Energy’s own Neil Fajnor competed in the squat, lifting 418 lbs.! Congratulations to Neil and all the competitors of the 2018 Canadian Single Event Drug Free Championships for their part in making this event a tremendous success.

Burst Energy is always pleased to be able to participate in, and support, healthy living initiatives in communities across Alberta. Stay tuned for updates regarding Burst Energy Sponsored outdoor fitness parks in Clairsholm, Alberta.

It’s Been a Long Time Coming – Alberta’s Phasing-out of Coal

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Alberta’s energy sector is among the most prominent features in its robust economy. The Province reported revenues in the area of $33 billion dollars in 2013 . With figures like this, it’s no wonder that the international stage has its eyes on Alberta as it undertakes the transition to a low carbon economy. Currently, greenhouse emissions resulting from the generation of electricity are comparable to that of the oil sands.
Our Province’s energy sector nearly tripled in size in the decade between 2003 and 2013, despite complex extraction methods and contentious weather. While sector growth indicates a strong industry, it has increased concerns over the environmental implications of fossil fuel extraction not just on plants and trees – but on human health as well, as a result of increased air pollution.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) found that an accelerated Alberta coal phase out will prevent 600 premature deaths, 500 emergency room visits, and will avoid nearly $3 billion in negative health outcomes.
Health concerns come as a result of exposure to cadmium, lead mercury and other toxic pollutants known to cause, among other things, respiratory disease and heart problems. In response, the government’s Climate Leadership Plan aims to eliminate coal-based emissions by 2030, a bold move that speaks volumes to the Province’s commitment to the responsible protection of its environment, and its people. It is also worth noting that in positioning itself as a leader in green energy, Alberta sets the stage to have more influence, internationally, as a marker for success in responsible industry.
Coal plant closures have begun, with some plants being ‘mothballed’, a term for a suspension of operation that allows the possibility of reopening for operation at a later time. TransAlta began the new year with the closure of Sundance Unit 1 and mothballing of unit 2 to a maximum of 2 years. TransAlta has further committed to an early phase-out of its coal-based operations, with all operations out of service by 2023 – 7 years ahead of the imposed Client Leadership Plan deadline.
There will be hurdles, that’s to be sure, but overall, it’s safe to say that Alberta’s residents will gain more than we will lose in the long run with a move away from coal. The green energy sector brings with it opportunities for new employment and new job creation that, to this day, don’t exist. Alberta is on track to make unprecedented changes in the way that it does electricity, with a minimum of 30% green electricity taking up permanent residency on our grid over the next 12 years – that’s something to be proud of!
Burst Energy continue to follow the transition away from coal closely, and with interest. By staying abreast of new developments in the energy sector, we are better positioned to offer our clients the best value for their energy needs.

New to Burst Energy – Solar Program

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Burst Energy is committed to staying abreast of energy developments and innovation, and to providing our customers with a menu of solutions where consumer needs are concerned.
Now, more than ever, consumers are aware of the impact of their lifestyle habits on the environment. Carbon emissions in Alberta have become top-of-mind as a result of increased penalties for carbon production with the introduction of the carbon tax. Consumers are now looking to alternative methods of energy production to limit their reliance on fossil fuels and protect themselves against the rising cost of energy in our province. To this point, the introduction of the Green Energy Credit program, has allowed customers to choose the percentage of green-derived electricity they want to be using in their homes and offices.
Increased demand has encouraged the development of Burst Energy’s newest green energy program. Introducing Burst Solar!!!
Our new solar program is designed to put you in touch with industry leaders and take you from a consumer of traditional (coal-based) energy, to a micro generator of solar electricity! We are here to help you participate in the green energy movement while taking advantage of new programs that offer reliable information and strategic offsets to your investment.
Why Solar?
Solar electricity is 100% renewable, and drastically reduces the need for traditional electricity. The program is scalable to meet the needs of agricultural operations, residences, and commercial sites. Since solar operates consistently with minimal maintenance requirements, the lifestyle impact of these programs is virtually nil.
A Full-Circle Approach with Burst Energy
We feel that providing value to our customer’s means offering solutions to simplify their lives. We have hand selected a network of solar electricity professionals to help you navigate the ropes. The big issues like permit application, safety compliance and roof assessment are handled for you. Our installation team members are red seal certified and customer service vetted.
Because we’ve partnered with subject matter experts in solar technology, we are confident in our ability to provide exceptional service at a competitive price. Whether roof mount or ground mount, large scale or small, our team is here to provide a customized approach to your micro generation requirements. We are sensitive to supply chain concerns and recommend only products that are reliable, available, and can be serviced on a reasonable timeline, should the need arise.
How Can I Become a Solar Micro generator?
When you reach out to your Burst Energy Solar representative, you will be asked to provide some basic information such as your address and an example of a recent electricity bill (your solar rep will not have access to this). Your information will be run through our quoting system (Aurora) and you will be provided with an estimation of cost based on your utility needs. A professional installer will review the installation site to ensure that items such as line capacity, and roof pitch and exposure are suitable for installation. Following the completion of your application, we require a deposit of 50% to move forward in establishing your micro generation platform!
How Much Energy Can I Generate?
Your system can be designed to offset 100% of your energy consumption over the course of the year. Since generation capacity is high in the summer months, credits are provided to offset winter usage needs, where energy production drops significantly.
Did you know?
Calgary is Canada’s sunniest major city? Edmonton follows behind at #3!
Can I Disconnect from the Grid?
In most cases it is not feasible to move off the traditional power grid entirely. Practical items such as running appliances etc. around the clock requires that the system tap into the grid to meet those needs at night. As a result, you can decrease or eliminate your usage charges, but you will still be responsible for administration, demand and line provider charges.

How Long Does the Process Take?
Following the estimation process and subsequent acceptance, customers can expect a timeline for permitting between 2 and 3 weeks, and 2-3 days for installation. Following installation, the provincial grant application can be submitted, and typically funds within 30 days.

What Will My System Cost?
Options and quality grades vary where it comes to solar panels, just as each installation site will vary in its capacity to position panels optimally. Typically roof mount residential project costs ranging between $10,000 and $25,000.
Full return on investment is generally achieved within 12 and 15 years, with warranties generally being 25 years on panels. This warranty is with the panel manufacturer, generally Canada Solar.
How Can I Reduce the Cost of My System?
The Provincial Government currently offers a grant valued at $0.75 per Watt (up to $10,000). Using a professional installer ensures that the grant is not withheld.
Can I Install Solar Panels at a Rented Property?
This can be one of the best ways to maximize benefit when switching to solar. Interest on financing is tax deductible for property owners who finance solar installation on rental property (check with your tax accountant). Additionally, including electricity in the price of rent can further reduce operating costs. In the event that the property is sold, solar packages generally increase property value by the value of the system itself.

Want to know more about becoming a Solar Micro generator? Contact your Burst Energy representative today for information about financing, installation options and more! 1 (866) 516-3085.