THUNDER BAY – Aboriginal – “The Aboriginal Conservation Program offers First Nation and Métis communities a way to reduce their electricity costs and create local jobs. Participating communities will see benefits while also contributing to the province’s overall conservation goals,” commented Bob Chiarelli, Ontario’sMinister of Energy.
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Aboriginal firm First Nations Engineering Services Ltd. are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the second year of the saveONenergy ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM.
“The Aboriginal Conservation Program has provided our community members with knowledge and tools for efficient energy consumption in our homes. It has also created awareness on how to save on energy costs as well as contribute to the protection of our environment,” said Bertha K. Sutherland, Associate Executive Director, Moose Cree First Nation.
This innovative program provides customized electricity conservation services designed to help First Nation communities, including remote and northern communities, reduce their electricity use in residential housing, institutional and commercial buildings. The program also creates employment opportunities, potentially providing up to 30 jobs in selected First Nation communities. Program managers, community coordinators, canvassers and energy auditors will be hired to deliver the program to participating communities.
In the first year of the program, 12 First Nation communities, including two remote communities, were selected to implement conservation measures to meet their energy needs. All First Nation communities across Ontario are encouraged to apply for the program’s second year. Sixteen communities will be selected to participate from the applications received. Applications will be accepted until February 26, 2014.
Residents in participating communities will have an opportunity to work with a certified energy auditor, who will recommend electricity-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
- block heater timers, programmable thermostats
- 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, up to $1,500 in energy-efficient lighting and equipment upgrades, and gain access to further incentives.
“I’m thrilled by how successful the Aboriginal Conservation Program has been in its first year. By participating in this program, Aboriginal communities can better manage their electricity costs and maximize energy conservation. I hope all interested First Nations will apply and enjoy the benefits of this program,” enthused David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
“The first year of the program has gone very well, with 12 communities benefitting from energy audits and energy-saving measures. We hope First Nation communities across the province will take the opportunity to apply for the second year of the program, as we continue to work closely with First Nations and Métis communities on conservation and energy efficiency,” stated Colin Andersen, CEO of the Ontario Power Authority