Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities Challenge: Finalist Application Submission
On March 5, the Town submitted its Smart Cities Challenge Finalist application to Infrastructure Canada. In the application, the Town proposes an Energy Poverty Reduction Program to lift residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate 20% by 2025. Bridgewater was announced as one of five finalists for the $5 million Smart Cities Challenge competition in Spring of 2018. The final application is the result of many months of consultation with Bridgewater residents and community partners. Infrastructure will announce the winners of the Smart Cities Challenge in the Spring. Stay tuned to Town of Bridgewater and Energize Bridgewater social media for updates on the project.
Read the application here: Energy Poverty Reduction Program
Bridgewater's 5-minute Smart Cities Challenge Video Pitch
Challenge Statement: Our community will lift its residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate by 20% by 2025.
Energize Bridgewater Monthly Zine
Read about the latest in sustainability in Bridgewater including the Smart Cities Challenge, Bridgewater transit, and more.
The December Edition (Click on cover page to read)
November Edition (Click on cover page to read)
Smart Cities Challenge Video Gallery
Youth Video Documentary: Living in Energy Poverty
Smart Cities Challenge Jury Check-in Video
Eliminating Energy Poverty Through Clean Energy
Bridgewater Bright Business Community Award Winner
Engaging the Community on Energy Poverty
About Bridgewater's Smart Cities Challenge Project to Reduce Energy Poverty
What is energy poverty?
Energy poverty is a debilitating problem in our community, as it is for many communities across Canada. A widely accepted definition of energy poverty is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy to heat and power the home (electricity, fuel oil, propane, firewood, etc.), as well as for the fuel it needs for its routine commutes.
Why is energy poverty such an important issue in Bridgewater?
Our best available evidence suggests that 38% of Bridgewater residents experience some form of energy poverty either as a chronic condition or periodically as the household balance sheet fares better or worse depending on its income prospects and its health and social needs. Energy poverty is also closely linked to housing poverty. Living in energy poverty profoundly impacts the wellbeing of individuals and families. The Town of Bridgewater, and its many community partners, have documented physical and mental health impacts, social challenges, and financial hardships among individuals and families living in energy poverty.
While charitable and government poverty relief services exist, there is broad agreement across the community service sector that existing services are unable to address the magnitude of the problem, and are failing to address the structural and systemic causes of energy and housing poverty. The problem also appears to be getting worse as energy prices continue to rise and incomes remain stagnant.
Energize Bridgewater Team
Energy and Financing Working Group
See the appendix of the Energy Poverty Reduction Program document for letters of support from the following project partners:
Smart Cities Challenge Library
For further reading on energy poverty and affordable housing in Bridgewater and Nova Scotia, visit the links below:
South Shore Housing Action Coalition: Housing Needs Assessmenthttps: //sshac.wordpress.com/housing-needs-assessment/South
Solving Nova Scotia's Electricity Pricing Problem: Energy Affordability vs Rising Electricity Prices https://ecologyaction.ca/issue-area/energy-issues-publications