Alberta’s economy is directly tied to its energy industry, but that doesn’t mean the importance of energy retailers pertains only to the revenue and job creation the companies contribute to. Energy retailers also contribute significantly to the development of their communities. The jobs they create can shape the way a community forms, the size of its growth, its resource access and innovation, and the cultural growth that forms as a result of a strong economy that can support its citizens and a strong job base that can attract new people into the workforce and the community – and that isn’t all. Many energy retailers are contributing even more to their communities.
Who are they and what are their contributions?
ATCO was founded in Alberta in 1947. Since then, it has grown and diversified to become an important part of the Alberta energy landscape—and economy. Now representing a worldwide group of companies, ATCO employs 7,000 people and has close to $20 billion in assets. For ATCO, diversification included expanding into structures and logistics, electricity, pipelines and liquids, and retail energy. From construction to water solutions to energy solutions, ATCO has been busy shaping its communities; however, ATCO also runs the Blue Flame Kitchen. Instead of simply providing power for the kitchen, ATCO is helping to empower its community members in the kitchen by holding cooking courses, camps, and even school programs. You can also visit their website for recipes, how-to videos, and even safety tips.
Direct Energy promotes as its main value the fact that it offers its consumers “more than just energy.” While they are an energy distributor, Direct Energy has also diversified to offer consumers home services. These include 24-hour plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling services, whether those services are required for repairs, maintenance, or installation—including installation, maintenance, and repair of solar technologies. Direct Energy also offers home protection plans that can help you to safeguard the vital systems in your home. Their investment in their community doesn’t stop there, though. Direct Energy also offers a learning centre that can help you learn more about energy—and how that energy education can translate to savings.
Of course, investing in your community extends beyond diversifying your company to ensure that it covers all of the areas in which your community members need support; that means supporting community members by investing in the charities and not-for-profit groups around you, too. ENMAX has been participating in charitable events and volunteer opportunities for close to two decades. Their annual United Way campaign has raised more than $4.3 million dollars so far, all of which has gone towards helping Alberta build stronger communities. ENMAX also consistently collects and donates used steel-toed work boots (and other work clothing) to support those community members who are trying to get back to work. ENMAX also offers a number of scholarships to students and provides sponsorship and community investment in Aboriginal cultures by supporting language and culture preservation; social programs; and education, training and recruitment opportunities.