Continuation of home energy programs urged – GCNews #705

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706: 6 December 2010 – Published by Green Communities Canada

ecoENERGY. The federal Liberals have joined the NDP in challenging the end of the ecoENERGY retrofit incentive program. Speaking in the House, environment critic Gerard Kennedy asked why ecoENERGY is being shut down, costing hundreds of jobs in the energy efficiency industry and leaving homeowners in the cold. Energy minister Christian Paradis said: “we will have a series of optimal programs from an investment standpoint” but offered no specifics or timeline. See exchange … Green Communities Canada signed a letter written with CanREA Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance and Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, and sent to Prime Minister Harper and three of his ministers, 29 November. Seenational strategy recommendations and model programs enclosed with each letter.

RECOMMENDATIONS. Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Gord Miller released the second volume of 2009 Annual Energy Conservation report, Re-thinking Energy Conservation in Ontario: Results. Report says Ontario should continue to have a home-energy retrofit program and that the Home Energy Savings Program has “raised awareness of conservation” and is “particularly effective for improving the performance of… houses constructed prior to 1970”.  Some concerns include the low level of deep retrofits and the needs to scale up the program to reach more homeowners.

WELL DONE. Well Aware wrapped up its 9th successful delivery season: 12 delivery agencies, 466 guided self-assessments, over 50 media hits, 52 community presentations, 107 staffed displays and more than 20,000 rural Ontario residents engaged.  Send a letter to the Minister of Environment and your local member of provincial parliament to remind the decision makers that our water and this program are valuable and worthwhile.

NEW PROGRAM. Green Communities Canada received $281,900 over two years from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to engage community organizations, professionals, municipal decision-makers and individual homeowners to lessen the burden of storm water pollution on Ontario’s lakes and rivers. RAIN: An ecological approach to stormwater management will include workshops, tours, prompts, special events and more.

CAUSE TO CELEBRATE. Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC) received a 2010 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award for making measurable improvements in reducing greenhouse gases and increasing energy efficiency through its Energy Efficiency Program, and Community Led Emission Reduction pilot project … BNRC celebrated 10 years of success stories at its annual meeting, 24 November.

CANCUN. Brent Kopperson, Executive Director of Windfall Ecology Centre, is attending the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, 29 November- 10 December. Brent is presenting Pukwis Community Wind ParkREpower Ontario green sector training program, and REpower Haiti proposal … The Canadian Government kicked off the UN climate talks in Cancun by winning first, second and third place Fossil of the Day awards.

ACTIVE WINTER. Derek Tessier, of EcoSuperior, explains how he manages to go car-less in Thunder Bay. Blog is not a “how to” for going car-less but rather “how I manage to do it” … Dalhousie Campus Bike Centre, a pilot project being funded with the help of Clean Nova Scotia, offers Winter Riding Safety Classes.

CHANGE OF DIRECTION. Équiterre no longer offers Rénoclimat (home energy audits). Équiterre will focus its efforts and actions towards promoting energy efficiency and sustainable buildings through projects such as the Maison du développement durable.  Équiterre continues offering second audits to its current clients.

ECO-GIFT WRAPPING. Toronto Green Community is looking for volunteers to wrap gifts in an environmentally friendly way (recycled and eco-friendly materials) at Mountain Equipment Co-op, Yonge Eglinton Centre and College Park … TGC teaches how to make and can applesauce. 11 December … See video about TGC programs on website All at Once which also features dozens of environmental community projects.

GIFT LIST. See David Suzuki Foundation’s online holiday catalogue … Alternatives suggests a subscription to a magazine … See clutter-free gift ideas for womenmenchildrengrandparents and other special people.

WATER ISSUES. POLIS Water Sustainability Project’s Water Sustainability Charter and WaterSmart Toolkit aims to contribute to the global effort to mitigate looming water crisis by providing a stepping-off point for the development of community water visions that address local management challenges.

FUNDING. Walmart-Evergreen Green Grants Program provides funds of up to $10,000 to community groups working on restoration and stewardship of local ecosystems. Grant also supports community development initiatives such as community organic food garden projects. Due 31 January … Hometown Heroes Award Program rewards environmental leaders (individuals and groups) who have fostered meaningful, long–term community awareness and action in their communities with a $10,000 prize.Nominations due 28 February.

ORGANIC CONFERENCE. 30th Annual Guelph Organic Conference, Generation Organic: celebrating 30 years for the original green movement is open to farmers, retailers, and the general public. 27-30 January.

CONSERVATION SAVVY. New Hampshire professor furnishes her entire new home for less than $1,000with second-hand items. She compares her home energy auditor to the Professor from Gilligan’s Island crossed with Crocodile Dundee.  “This guy came dressed in camouflage, with lots and lots of pockets. He needed them to hold all his gadgets and gizmos.”

JOBS. Muskoka Heritage FoundationMarketing and Communications Assistant. Due 17 December … Global Campaign for Climate Action, Operations Coordinator.  Due 19 December … City Green Solutions has two positions, Building Blocks Assistant and Energy Efficiency Services Assistant. Victoria, both due 6 December.

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