‘Eco works’ contest for energy efficiency
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | January 4, 2018
A contest to see which team can come up with the best plan to make a Minden Hills owned building more energy efficient will be launched in 2018.
Further, an information session about incentives, funding options, action for climate change and long-term energy planning, is coming to the Minden Hills Community Centre Jan. 17. Coun. Pam Sayne of the Climate Change Action Committee, and Ivan Ingram, environmental and property operations manager, discussed both ideas at a Dec. 14 Minden Hills council meeting.
A day earlier, committee members Scott Harrison and Heather Ross spoke at a county council meeting. Sayne said the first initiative is a contest for energy savings. She said they are proposing to bring in teams, that could comprise, for example, retired engineers and people with construction knowledge, as well as youth, to find out “who provides the best retrofit for energy savings.” She said the township’s building department would also be onboard. The winning team would be awarded $500.
While making a pitch for $2,500 in council support for the “Eco-Works” competition, she said the township investment would be offset by energy savings in the building in future.
“It’s a win-win. We’ll be saving on energy, doing community education and community building.”
Ingram did say the final price may be more than $2,500. According to committee minutes tabled at the meeting, the money would cover expenses relating to implementation, public awareness and advertising, as well as the prize money.
“It is our belief that as well as creating community awareness and participation, it also represents a starting point for what we hope will be additional future projects aimed at reducing the municipalities’ energy costs,” the minutes read.
While there are more details to come on the contest, the information session is locked in for Jan. 17, between 1 and 4 p.m. at the community centre. Harrison and Ross told county council, “climate change and energy security are growing issues that impact very directly upon our local governments. With two ‘once in a century’ floods in the past four years, I think it’s becoming clear these are not singular events and there will be more to come. We are going to need an action plan and we are going to need funding.”
However, the two said the good news is there is money available to local governments for planning and action through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and provincial ministry programs.
They also talked about the need for a countywide response. As such, county and other lower-tier staff and politicians have been invited to the session, which will feature presentations from Ian McVey of the Ontario Climate Consortium Secretariat, on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Josh Shook from the ministry of energy, as well as representatives, James Scott and Patrick Fancott from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The committee said the goal of the session is “to highlight funding programs and examples from other regions."
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.