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Major Upgrades to Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation Homes Announced

Friday, July 7th 2006 5:28:24pm

All 100 homes to undergo energy efficiency assessments and upgrades

(Georgina Island, ON, July 7, 2006)   Members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation celebrated the announcement of a major energy efficiency retrofit of the community’s housing, made possible through funding by Hydro One and the Ontario Power Authority’s Conservation Bureau.

The project, designed by the Windfall Ecology Centre, pilots an integrated approach to energy conservation.  Electricity demand reduction and conservation targets will be achieved by performing home energy audits, a community load analysis, and then installing appropriate energy-saving measures such as insulation, lighting, and draft proofing. The pilot also incorporates conservation education programs at both the community and household level which will be led by Georgina Island Band members.

According to Windfall Ecology Centre Executive Director, Brent Kopperson, “The Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation was selected for this pilot program because of the community’s knowledge and commitment to conservation and renewable energy.”  The Windfall Ecology Centre is also working with the community on the development of a 10MW wind farm on the north end of the Island.

Chippewas of Georgina Island Chief, Brett Mooney, says he is “pleased with the work Windfall has done on the wind farm and looks forward to providing results that can be used as a model for other First Nations retrofits.”

The Georgina Island project is unique in that it tackles residential energy conservation from a community perspective. All of the homes will first be assessed, and then it will be determined how retrofit measures can best be deployed across the community to maximise the conservation benefits. Hydro One Conservation Officer, James Hall, says, “Hydro One feels that the Georgina Island First Nation is a good fit for this program because of their already strong conservation culture.  This program will lead to even deeper energy conservation results and will provide an excellent model for what communities can achieve.”

“This is an exciting project for us,” says Bryan Young, Program Manager for the Conservation Fund. “Not only will this project help First Nations residents on Georgina Island save money on electricity, the lessons we learn from this project will go into the development of a First Nations electricity conservation program we’re actively designing with our First Nations partners.”

The assessments have already begun and retrofits should be complete by November of this year.


For more information and/or high resolution photos, contact:

Brent Kopperson, Windfall Ecology Centre, 647-401-9281

Enza Cancilla, Manager of Public Affairs, Hydro One, 416-345-5892

Barton Sala, Conservation Bureau, 416-969-6006