B.C.’s Dease River First Nation upgrading to LEDs, programmable thermostats
December 8, 2016 - Dease River First Nation in British Columbia, part of the Kaska Nation, is looking to cut costs when it comes to energy after a recent funding announcement of $128,120 from B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
By Renée Francoeur
According to the province, the investment in the Dease River First Nation Energy Efficiency project will allow the nation to complete energy-efficiency retrofits in community buildings and homes in Good Hope Lake, located just south of the Yukon border. This includes:
• Installing programmable thermostats in all homes, saving 5-15% on annual heating bills by turning down the heat when buildings aren’t in use, according to the province;
• Insulating exposed hot-water pipes;
• Installing water-saving showerheads;
• Upgrading to LED lighting;
• Replacing poorly functioning gas-fired furnaces in residential and community buildings. Many of the latter were installed in 1981 and are failing.
“Good Hope Lake faces specific challenges that come with long summer days and cold winter nights. Getting support to transition our community to more energy-efficient technologies like LED lighting and programmable thermostats will help us respect our environment and enjoy our community,” said Chief Ruby Johnny, Dease River First Nation.
Good Hope Lake has 29 houses, one duplex unit, and several community buildings, including a band office, fire hall, recreation hall, general store, gymnasium, day care, guest accommodation, maintenance shed and a powerhouse.
“Good Hope Lake is powered with electricity that is generated by diesel so it’s important to support the Dease River First Nation’s efforts to make the most efficient use of electricity,” added John Rustad, minister of B.C.’s Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “This investment will support Dease River to save money now and build capacity to include energy-efficient technology in any future community projects.”