Project Neutral, whose quest is to help households in the Junction and Riverdale neighbourhoods reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has launched a new program to entice homeowners to reduce energy bills while fighting climate change.
Through the program, Getting to 80, residents in wards 13 and 30 may qualify for as much as $2,000 in energy savings, offered as part of a community-wide climate protection initiative created by a collaboration between Project Neutral and Windfall Ecology Centre.
Getting to 80, explained Karen Nasmith, director and co-founder of Project Neutral, is borrowed from the City of Toronto’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2020.
“The City of Toronto, a number of years ago, put in place a climate change action plan, the Climate Change Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan. As part of that, the city committed to an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Nasmith said.
The city reached its 2012 goal, based on the Kyoto protocol, of a 15 per cent reduction from 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels, she said.
“This is all building on that – we’ve aligned ourselves with the 80 per cent reduction in greenhouses gasses,” Nasmith told The Villager. “Household emissions are a big part of that as well as emissions from transportation.”
The neighbourhood project initially focuses on natural gas savings, however, the two organizations stress this is just the first step. Its long-term goal is to galvanize stakeholders around additional offerings for electrical savings, renewable energy and water conservation.
Not only does it provide financial incentives, but Getting to 80 offers an easy one-window enrolment in a comprehensive package that includes home assessments by Certified Energy Auditors, gas saving measures and access to trusted contractors. The Getting to 80 eligible measures include insulation upgrades, air sealing, a high efficiency space heating system, high efficiency water heating and drain water heat recovery systems.
Project Neutral will host two public meetings to further discuss the Getting to 80 initiative with the communities of Riverdale and the Junction. The Ward 13 meeting takes place June 3, at Annette Library, 145 Annette St. and in Ward 30 on June 4 at the Frankland Community Centre, 816 Logan Rd. Both meetings takes place from 7 to 8 p.m.
“We are engaging with residents in a grassroots climate change dialogue,” Nasmith said. “Our online survey establishes a baseline for each household that can be used to prioritize actions. Beyond that we are striving to be a catalyst for deeper, more meaningful change – Getting to 80 is a way of connecting residents with ways to reduce their footprint.”
Windfall Ecology Centre is a non-profit organization known for its leadership in the design and deployment of innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Ward 13 and 30 residents can get further information at www.Gettingto80.ca or by emailing email@example.com