Ontario Launches Energy-Saving Program for Aboriginal Communities

Innovative conservation program to deliver energy-saving initiatives directly to Aboriginal communities across Ontario

TORONTO, March 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario is taking another step to help consumers reduce electricity consumption and manage electricity costs. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and First Nations Engineering Services Ltd. are pleased to officially launch the saveONenergy ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM, the first of its kind in Ontario.

This program provides customized conservation services designed to help First Nation communities, including remote and northern communities, reduce their electricity consumption. The program will also create clean energy employment opportunities, potentially providing up to 30 jobs in selected Aboriginal communities. Program managers, community coordinators, canvassers and energy auditors will be hired to deliver the program to participating communities.

To help deliver the program, the Ontario Power Authority has partnered with the Aboriginal firm First Nations Engineering Services Ltd. In the first year of the program, eight First Nation communities, including two remote communities, will be selected to implement conservation measures to meet their energy needs. All First Nation communities across Ontario are encouraged to apply.

The Aboriginal Conservation Program will also provide Métis and urban Aboriginal peoples with support and information to more easily access province-wide conservation programs offered by local utilities.

By participating in the program, First Nations communities can manage their electricity costs, improve home comfort through draft proofing and other measures and receive free energy-efficient upgrades. Members in participating communities will have access to a certified energy auditor, and eligible businesses and facilities can receive assessments for their lighting and water-heating systems

Quotes:

"Our government is committed to ensuring Aboriginal peoples have access to the tools they need to succeed. This program will help Métis, urban Aboriginal peoples and First Nation communities manage electricity costs and conserve energy. I encourage all Aboriginal communities to learn more."

David Zimmer
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

"Thanks to programs like this, Ontario is a North American conservation leader. The least expensive energy is the energy we don't use, and more Ontario families and businesses are embracing conservation and using electricity more efficiently."

Bob Chiarelli
Minister of Energy

"Conservation will always be our first priority for Ontario's electricity system, because it's less costly than new generation and it helps consumers manage their electricity costs. We are pleased to be working closely with Ontario's First Nation and Métis communities to help them use energy efficiently and manage energy costs."

Colin Andersen
CEO of the Ontario Power Authority


SOURCE: Ontario Power Authority

For further information:

Aboriginal Conservation Program website
http://www.aboriginalenergy.ca/aboriginal-conservation-program

Aboriginal Conservation Program Manager
Aboriginalconservation@powerauthority.on.ca
Toll Free: 1-855-445-0202

Media Contact:
Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority: 416-969-6307 / Toll Free: 1-800-797-9604

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Ontario Power Authority

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