It started with a simple statement: “Why not do it now, while we can prepare and plan, rather than have to scramble to replace our aging furnace when it fails in the middle of winter.” This thinking led Burnewood Community League to decrease their electricity bill by approximately 44%, through the power of energy efficiency.
Burnewood Community League’s Vice President Langis Bernier spearheaded this change, driven by his desire to make a lasting impact on the community.
To do this, Langis first attended the Green Leagues Energy 101 Workshop Series. This set of four workshops aimed at different energy sustainability topics armed him with knowledge, resources and steps to move forward with these ideas.
From the workshops, Langis learned that an important part of energy management is baseline measurements and assessments to fully understand where you are and the best way forward for your project. Burnewood Hall underwent an energy audit and a solar energy assessment. The solar assessment evaluated the ability of their building to produce solar energy while the audit informed them of items they could change in the building to save on energy.
The audit pointed to simple things like changing to LED light bulbs inside and out, replacing window and door seals, and programmable thermostats. More than that, the audit told them that they needed more attic insulation, an EnergyMiser® on their skate shack vending machine, and a thermostat control on their domestic hot water circulation pump. With a full understanding of their hall and the potential projects that would improve the use and comfort of the building, Burnewood Community Leagues chose to focus on making the building as energy efficient as possible.
How did a small community run by dedicated volunteers pay for all these new things? They took advantage of the multitude of grants from a variety of sources that are available to community leagues. Edmonton’s Community League Infrastructure Program (CLIP), Alberta’s Taking Action to Manage Energy (TAME+), Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP), and the Energizing Communities Award presented by Enmax were the biggest funding contributors. The league itself contributed tons of volunteer time and energy to make this project the huge success that it was.