September 6, 2013 - In an effort to provide customized conservation services to help reduce energy in First Nation communities, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), together with Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer, have announced 12 communities chosen to participate in the first year of the saveONenergy Aboriginal Conservation Program. This, they said, is the first program of its kind in Ontario.
By Alyssa Dalton
“The Aboriginal Conservation Program is an important addition to the OPA’s innovative suite of conservation programs designed to help families, businesses and communities save energy and manage their energy costs,” said Bob Chiarelli, minister of energy. “These 12 communities will benefit from energy audits and the implementation of energy saving tools, while also contributing to Ontario’s overall conservation goals.”
In its inaugural year, the program attracted more than 30 First Nation communities applying to participate. Those participating in the first year are: Keewayin; Wunnimin Lake; Moose Cree; Pic River; Michipicoten; Munsee-Delaware; Beausoleil; Walpole Island; Saugeen; Nawash; Thessalon; and Nipissing.
Members in participating communities will have opportunity to work with a certified energy auditor, who will recommend energy-saving measures based on an assessment of their homes. These measures could include Energy Star CFL light bulbs, smart power bars, hot water tank wrap and pipe insulation, efficient showerheads and faucet aerators, as well as block heater timers, programmable thermostat or attic, wall and/or basement insulation. Eligible businesses and facilities can receive assessments for their lighting and water-heating systems as part of the program.
“The saveONenergy Aboriginal Conservation Program is intended to include Aboriginal communities in the building of a conservation culture in Ontario,” said the OPA. All First Nation communities are eligible to apply to the program.
The saveONenergy Aboriginal Conservation Program will also provide Métis and urban Aboriginal peoples with support and information to more easily access province-wide conservation programs offered by local utilities. Three workshops have taken place to date in Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury. A fourth workshop will take place this fall. When confirmed, details will be available at www.aboriginalenergy.ca/acp/event-calendar.