Through membership with Green Economy North, area municipalities take stock of energy usage
MANITOULIN—Several Northern Ontario communities are making sustainability a priority with the help of Green Economy North. Starting this fall, the municipalities of Blind River, Northeast Town, Gore Bay, Sables-Spanish Rivers and Billings Township will participate in community-based projects that will help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Through direct support from Green Economy North, these communities will first take an inventory of their current emissions and identify where reductions can be made. Green Economy North will work with the municipalities to identify areas of inefficiencies and suggest improvements and upgrades that will reduce emissions and lower operating costs. Upgrades to lighting and heating systems are examples of possible projects that could have a major return on investment.
“As a community, we are taking steps to protect our environment and control future costs,” said Northeast Town Mayor Alan MacNevin. “Our participation with Green Economy North will help us identify opportunities for energy savings and establish benchmarks for future greenhouse gas reductions.”
Mayor MacNevin explained that the municipality is applying to funding through Green Economy North to change lighting at the Northeast Town Recreation Centre, which could see savings of up to 74 percent, and replace the aging boiler system that heats up water for the ice surface cleaner to a new on-demand system.
“Green Economy North is will be looking at our energy usage and creating a baseline for what we currently use and setting up a system for measuring improvement moving forward,” Mayor MacNevin further explained.
“We’re excited to work with Green Economy North to analyze our current energy usage, and discover where we can reduce consumption,” said CAO/Clerk-Treasurer Anette Clarke, Town of Gore Bay. “This project is the first step towards our ultimate goal: a full community energy plan that will help guide our municipality in the future.”
With the help of funding provided by not-for-profit partner Environmental Defense, this project will also initiate consultations in some communities that will set the framework for a much larger community energy plan. A full community energy plan can help a municipality continually reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, and anticipate what future energy needs could be.
Green Economy North is Sudbury’s membership-based sustainable business program.
“Our members have access to a wide variety of support, from technical workshops to one-on-one coaching,” explains greeneconomynorth.ca. “Green Economy North is a program of rethink Green.”