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Coordinated Access Presentation

This presentation was delivered by Lisa Ryan to the Energize Bridgewater Advisory Committee on July 14, 2021. The presentation provides an overview of what Coordinated Access is and how this system will be integrated with other Energize Bridgewater systems and services.


Energize Bridgewater is Hiring a Project Director

Energize Bridgewater is hiring a Project Director to oversee strategic and the day-to-day management of the Energize Bridgewater program. The primary responsibility of this role is to lead the team of staff, consultants, and community partners to deliver the project and its outcomes and ensure it is achieved on time and within the project’s contractual and social obligations.

The Project Director is also responsible for managing contracts with vendors and partners, managing project risks, and reporting to funders, the Chief Administrative Officer and Town Council. To nurture innovation and support program design, prototyping, and evaluation efforts, the Project Director will foster an adaptive management environment for the Energize Bridgewater team and its partners.

The Project Director reports to the Chief Administrative Officer and is responsible to manage developmental and capacity building of departmental staff, and financial management of the department budgets and plans and to ensure Energize Bridgewater is aligned with Council and Organizational priorities. For more information on the position and to apply visit: https://www.bridgewater.ca/our-town/employment-opportunities


Energy and Equity Documentary 

Over a number of days in November, Nelson Nolan, a Junior Planner with the Town of Bridgewater’s Energize Bridgewater project and Patricia Watson, a champion of Bridgewater’s Anti-Racism Task Force, interviewed Bridgewater residents and business owners impacted by energy poverty. Equipped with cellphones and a desire to better understand the root cause of energy poverty, they captured the footage that has now become a short-form documentary film called, Energy and Equity. Our team would like to extend our appreciation for all those that participated. 

What Kind of Renewable Energy Energizes You?

The Town of Bridgewater wants to know what kind of renewable energy excites you! We completed a study to determine what kind of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro, or bioenergy would make the lowest cost and most reliable energy for Bridgewater.  Check out the community presentations below to learn more about the process of how Bridgewater is building community energy. 

Presentation #1 -  September 29, 2020 

Presentation #2 - November 17, 2020

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Bridgewater Receives $950,000 through the ACOA Innovation Communities Fund 

The funding is going towards building an Energy Management Information System as part of the smart cities project. The Energy Management Information System will allow homes, rental housing, and municipal facilities to plan for energy upgrades that save money. Read more about the funding announcement here: bridgewater.ca/news-events/latest-news

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Mayor David Mtichell speaks at the ACOA funding announcement. 

Bridgewater Completes Local Energy Financing Systems Study 

Bridgewater has completed a study on innovative capitalization strategies to bring millions of dollars into the community to upgrade community energy infrastructure, and improve housing stock. The work was led by Energy and Finance Development Coordinator Greg Goubko and provides a pathway forward for financing clean, affordable, secure, and efficient energy systems in Bridgewater. Click here to read the study. 

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Read the March Edition of the Energize Bridgewater Zine!

The March Edition introduces Energize Bridgewater's Project Manager Colleen O'Neill, provides updates on several exciting new progress tracking tools, and provides information on the Energize Bridgewater Advisory Commitree. Click here to read

March Front Cover

Bridgewater is the Winner of Infrastructure Canada's $5 million Smart Cities Challenge 

On May 14, 2019, Bridgewater was declared the winner of the competition in the $5 million prize category, beating out 49 other communities. Bridgewater’s winning idea aims to reduce energy poverty in our community.  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 that affects about 2 out of every 5 residents in Bridgewater. The jury felt that Bridgewater’s idea would make a big difference in people’s lives and reduce poverty in the community.  It could also be copied by other communities that want to follow in Bridgewater’s footsteps.

Read the application here: Energy Poverty Reduction Program



Challenge Statement: Our community will lift its residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate 20% by 2025. 


What is Bridgewater planning on doing with its $5 million prize?

The prize will allow Bridgewater to lift many of its residents out of energy poverty. It will do this by:

  • Making homes more energy efficient: we will hire a team of experts who will help residents and property owners to make your homes highly energy efficient and to install renewable energy systems, for example by adding insulation, smart thermostats, heat pumps, and solar panels. They will help residents and property owners find grant funding or loans to pay for these upgrades. The team will also take care of getting the work done by hiring good contractors and making sure that the work is done well. They will pay particular attention to older homes and apartment buildings, and as well as the needs of lower-income residents.
  • Helping you own and sell your own renewable energy: rooftop solar and ‘solar farms’ within which residents will be able to own solar panels that will provide you with income.
  • Setting up an “energy management information system”: to help home owners and businesses across the community plan energy upgrades, and make sure that you actually save energy and money as promised.
  • Making transportation cheaper and more accessible for everyone: improving Bridgewater’s bus service, and making streets and trails safer and more walkable for everyone.
  • Setting up a local energy investment program: so residents and businesses can make financial investments in the community’s energy projects and earn income from those investments.
  • Improving community services: better connecting residents who experience energy poverty with the community services (health, education, social services, etc.). 


When can I start using the program?

If you own your home and would like to explore affordable energy upgrades today, our Clean Energy Financing program can already help with that! www.CleanEnergyFinancing.ca / (844) 727-7818 (toll free). Efficiency Nova Scotia also offers programs and rebates for homes, apartment buildings, and businesses. www.efficiencyns.ca / (877) 999-6035 (toll free).

The full Energy Poverty Reduction Program will take more time to set up properly – we will likely start taking applications in 2020 or 2021. That’s a long wait for people who need this help today. But help is already available – in the form of community support, emergency fuel funds, free home energy upgrades, and other solutions. The Town is already working with community partners to better connect residents to these existing services. More information will be available later in 2019. 


Bridgewater's Smart Cities Challenge Video Playlist 


 Energize Bridgewater Monthly Zine

Read about the latest in sustainability in Bridgewater including the Smart Cities Challenge, Bridgewater transit, and more. Click on a cover page to read: 

December 2019 Edition

August 2019 Edition

March 2019 Edition














What is Energy Poverty?

Defining Energy Poverty

Energize Bridgewater Team 

  • Jessica McDonald, Director of Community Development 
  • Colleen O'Neill, Energize Bridgewater Project Manager 
  • Leon de Vreede, Sustainability Planner
  • VACANT, IT Systems Integration Specialist
  • VACANT, Engagement & Communications Officer
  • VACANT, Senior Energy Program Manager
  • Myles Cornish, On-Site Energy Manager
  • Mackenzie Childs, Planner
  • Nelson Nolan, Junior Planner 

 Energize Bridgewater Team 

  • Angie McLeod, Key Account Manager, Nova Scotia Power
  • David Mitchell, Mayor, Town of Bridgewater
  • Ernie O'Neill, Citizen Representative
  • Helen Lanthier, Board Member, Second Story Women’s Centre
  • Nancy Green, Health Promoter, Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Robert Dykes, Property Manager, RDNT Property Management



Energy and Financing Working Group 

  • Kaelan Keys, Business Development Manager, Efficiency Nova Scotia
  • Don Regan, Superintendent,   Berwick Electric Commission
  • Kathleen Heymans, Policy  Analyst and Coordinator,   Nova Scotia Department of  Energy
  • Samantha Peverill, Nova Scotia  Services Lead, Quality Urban Energy Systems  of Tomorrow (QUEST)
  • Andy Horsnell, Founder &   Owner,   Andy Horsnell Consulting
  • Douglas MacLennan, Vice President of  Development, New Dawn Enterprises
  • Richard Bridge, Barrister &   Solicitor
  • Fernando Paulovich, Canada Research Chair in Data Visualization and Associate Professor, Dalhousie University 


Project Partners

See the appendix of the Energy Poverty Reduction Program document for letters of support from the following project partners:

  • Affordable Energy Coalition
  • Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia
  • Be the Peace Institute
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of South Shore
  • Bridgewater Active Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Bridgewater and Area Lions Club
  • Clean Foundation
  • Dalhousie University - Faculty of Computer Science
  • Ecology Action Centre
  • EfficiencyNova Scotia / EfficiencyOne
  • Energy Services Association of Canada
  • Family Services of Western Nova Scotia
  • Housing Nova Scotia
  • Lunenburg County Seniors Safety Program
  • Lunenburg County YMCA
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • New Dawn Enterprises Limited
  • Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
  • Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines
  • Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Nova Scotia Power
  • Nova Scotia Works
  • Nova Scotia Community College – Lunenburg Campus
  • Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow
  • RNDT Development
  • SchoolsPlus
  • Second Story Women’s Centre
  • Small World Learning Centre
  • Society St. Vincent de Paul
  • Souls Harbour Bridgewater
  • South Shore Family Resource Association
  • South Shore Housing Action Coalition
  • St. Mary’s University - Department of Mathematics and Computing Science
  • The Ark and Support Services Group
  • The Honourable Mark Furey, MLA Lunenburg West
  • The Honourable Steven McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia
  • The Salvation Army, Bridgewater Corps
  • TownSuite Municipal Software
  • United Way Lunenburg County


Media Coverage  

Chronicle Herald: Bridgewater wins $5-million Smart Cities energy efficiency challenge

Newswire: The Government of Canada Announces Winners of the Smart Cities Challenge

Global News: Bridgewater, N.S., wins Smart Cities Challenge, earns $5M towards reducing energy poverty

CBC: Bridgewater wins $5M from federal program to improve energy efficiency

LighthouseNow: Bridgewater wins $5 million Smart Cities Challenge

CKBW: Bridgewater Wins Smart Cities Challenge

Smart Cities Challenge Library

Detailed Operational Study: Local Energy Financing Systems 

Bridgewater's Initial Smart Cities Challenge Submission 

Smart Cities Challenge Project Charter 

Smart Cities Challenge Community Engagement Plan 

Community Energy Investment Plan: The Way Forward

Community Energy Financing Mechanisms Scoping Study 

Energy Poverty in Bridgewater Report 

Energize Bridgewater Partner Kick-off Engagement Session Summary 



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 Assessment

Solving Nova Scotia's Electricity Pricing Problem: Energy Affordability vs Rising Electricity Prices 


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