Manitoba is big on BEEP energy efficiency and training program
December 18, 2015 - Manitoba says it will renew the Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) for another four years. The program provides lower-income people with experience in the skilled trades “while also making local buildings more environmentally friendly”.
By Anthony Capkun
A provincial investment of more than $4.3 million in BEEP over the next four years will help train 64 people in construction work, including framing, siding and energy and water conservation. Trainees will receive some instruction in a classroom setting, and gain on-the-job experience at construction, renovation and landscaping projects.
The project is managed by the non-profit Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corp.
“Eight [BEEP] program participants have advanced into our apprenticeship program, 45 found full-time, private-sector employment and 11 have chosen to pursue further education,” said Carly Gasparini, GM of the non-profit.
Trainees will provide about 100 energy conservation retrofits for private homeowners in Brandon and surrounding communities. They will also help complete a five-unit multiplex currently under construction on 11th Street to provide housing for people at risk of homelessness, and build a new three-bedroom home for a lower-income family in the community.
The province says that, since the program began, it has:
• Built four “Solutions to End Poverty Permanently” houses for lower-income families.
• Updated and refreshed the exteriors of 25 government-owned duplexes.
• Updated and refreshed the interiors of eight homes owned by the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Housing Authority.
• completed energy and/or water retrofits at 583 low-income units owned by the province, 494 privately owned apartment units and 45 privately owned, lower-income homes.
The retrofits are estimated to reduce water consumption by 40% and energy use by 15% for participating households, noted Premier Greg Selinger.
BEEP training will be available to people in Brandon and the surrounding communities who are unemployed or at risk of becoming unemployed. Trainees who want to continue their education will be given the opportunity to upgrade math or literacy skills, and pursue apprenticeship opportunities.