Mi’kmaq Communities develop skills, save energy and lower costs through efficiency

(Dartmouth, NS.) – Nearly 1,900 households in 13 First Nations communities across Nova Scotia developed skills while saving energy and money as part of an innovative pilot project to promote energy efficiency.

The project , initiated by Efficiency Nova Scotia, received support from the Province, the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative, and the Dartmouth-based energy efficiency company, Sustainable Housing. Thirty-six community members completed training to install energy efficient lighting, electric hot water tank and pipe wrap, low-flow showerheads and other upgrades in First Nations homes. The installers also provided residents with information and advice to help them save.

Each household will save an average of $180 per year in electricity costs. Taken together, those savings will put more than $330,000 back into First Nations communities – every year.

“Community members seized the opportunity to gain in-demand skills and knowledge in Nova Scotia’s growing energy efficiency industry,” said Allan Crandlemire, CEO of Efficiency Nova Scotia. “This project is a great example of communities coming together around a common goal, developing skills and utilizing innovation to improve – the very themes outlined in the Ivany Report.”

“This government strongly supports efficiency programs and the value they provide to Nova Scotians,” said Energy Minister, Andrew Younger. “We’re pleased that many Mi’kmaq communities are now saving energy and money as a result of this innovative initiative. The success of this program demonstrates the strong working relationship that exists between the Province and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq leadership.”

The project’s success has set the stage for future partnerships with First Nations communities on energy efficiency initiatives aimed at achieving even greater savings.

“As Mi’kmaq, we want to ensure we’re creating a more environmentally responsible tomorrow,” said Chief Paul J. Prosper, Lead Chief of Energy for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “It’s great to see how much of a positive impact projects like this can make in our communities.”

The pilot will prevent more than 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year, which is equivalent to taking around 350 cars off the road.

Efficiency Nova Scotia offers services, financial incentives and straightforward advice to help you save.  Since 2008, energy efficiency has reduced Nova Scotia’s annual electricity load by 5.5 per cent and will save Nova Scotians $78 million in electricity costs this year.