March 27, 2013 - The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and First Nations Engineering Services want to help Aboriginal communities reduce their electricity costs and consumption with the new saveONenergy Aboriginal Conservation Program, the first of its kind in the province, they say.
By Alyssa Dalton
According to OPA, the program provides customized conservation services designed to help remote and northern First Nation communities reduce their electricity consumption. It is also expected to create up to 30 clean energy jobs in select Aboriginal communities, such as program managers, community coordinators, canvassers and energy auditors.
“Our government is committed to ensuring Aboriginal peoples have access to the tools they need to succeed. This program will help Métis, urban Aboriginal peoples and First Nation communities manage electricity costs and conserve energy,” said David Zimmer, minister of Aboriginal affairs. “I encourage all Aboriginal communities to learn more.”
“Conservation will always be our first priority for Ontario’s electricity system, because it’s less costly than new generation and it helps consumers manage their electricity costs,” said Colin Andersen, CEO of OPA. “We are pleased to be working closely with Ontario’s First Nation and Métis communities to help them use energy efficiently and manage energy costs.”
In the first year of the program, eight First Nation communities, including two remote communities, will be selected to implement conservation measures to meet their energy needs. All First Nation communities across Ontario are encouraged to apply. The 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, said OPA.
“Thanks to programs like this, Ontario is a North American conservation leader,” added Bob Chiarelli, minister of energy. “The least expensive energy is the energy we don’t use, and more Ontario families and businesses are embracing conservation and using electricity more efficiently.”
Members in participating communities will have access to a certified energy auditor, and eligible businesses and facilities can receive assessments for their lighting and water-heating systems.
CLICK HERE for more information on the program.