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Town of Bridgewater takes action to decrease energy poverty and protect the environment

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Town of Bridgewater takes action to decrease energy poverty and protect the environment
Government of Canada support assists the municipality in developing an energy management system

July 20, 2020 
 
BRIDGEWATER, NS – The Town of Bridgewater is developing an Energy Management Information System that will help the municipality reduce energy poverty and improve the quality of life for its residents.

The community’s Energize Bridgewater program is a climate action initiative that is nationally renowned for its open smart cities approaches, policies and programs that collectively address equity in energy transition.

In 2019, Bridgewater won Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge competition in the $5 million prize category for its plan to address energy poverty. The Energy Management Information System is part of this plan that will help manage energy consumption in Bridgewater’s municipal facilities and provide data analytics to demonstrate the return on investment for home energy upgrades.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, announced $950,000 in support through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund to help the community develop the system.

The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The project involves hiring experts and extensive consultation with residents as well as the creation of a roadmap for other Canadian communities to build their own Energy Management Information Systems.

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping communities like Bridgewater become more energy efficient and making clean, affordable power available to all citizens. The Energy Management Information System Bridgewater is creating will reduce the town’s environmental footprint, increase community pride, enable other communities to adopt the system and, perhaps most importantly, reduce energy poverty,” said Minister Jordan.

“As a winner of the Smart Cities Challenge, the Town of Bridgewater has demonstrated its leadership in harnessing innovative, community-driven solutions to address local challenges with its Energy Poverty Reduction Program, which will help address energy poverty locally while inspiring other communities across the country who may be facing similar challenges to adopt smart cities approaches,” said Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna. “Through programs like the Smart Cities Challenge, Canada's infrastructure plan is resulting in thousands of projects, creating jobs across the country and building stronger communities.”

The Town of Bridgewater’s mayor, David Mitchell, explained that by utilizing emerging clean energy technologies and smart cities approaches to problem solving, Bridgewater proposes to accelerate the community’s transition toward a clean energy economy, while reducing its energy poverty rate by 20% by 2025.

“Bridgewater will do this by building data and technology systems that enable residents to access program information and services and make more informed energy consumption decisions. The funding announced today represents another significant step in making that vision a reality,” Mayor Mitchell said.

“Living in energy poverty means not being able to afford enough energy to heat and power one’s home, or fuel for transportation. It is a serious problem across Atlantic Canada and affects almost two in five Bridgewater households.”  

Municipalities are uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of the shifting world of energy systems, pairing data and connected technologies for community services that ensure underserved populations are the first beneficiaries of the energy transition. Doing so will offer tremendous economic benefits to communities across Atlantic Canada and beyond. 


CONTACT INFORMATION:

Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-830-3839 (cell)
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Patrick Hirtle
Communications Manager
Town of Bridgewater
902-930-1382 (cell)
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