The City of Cornwall’s comprehensive efficiency program is a leading model of the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy’s Green Communities Initiative. Thanks to effective partnerships between government, citizens, utilities, and trade allies, Cornwall has tuned-up its use of energy in homes, businesses, industry, and transportation, while creating an efficiency ethic in town to include water efficiency, use of alternative transportation fuels, recycling, and composting. The program has been delivered by Cornwall’s Energy Efficiency Team whose goals are to save energy and water, reduce waste, protect the environment, and stimulate the local economy.
Cornwall has had a long history with resource efficiency, providing home audits, shifting energy use "off-oil," relighting streetlights, and converting vehicles to natural gas. Because of Cornwall’s interest, commitment, and experience with resource efficiency, the City has the distinction of being named "Canada’s Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Efficient City." This led to the selection of Cornwall as one of three pilot communities for Ontario’s Green Communities Initiative. Thanks to provincial funding plus extensive community support, the City initiated its comprehensive community-based program in 1991.
Cornwall’s Energy Efficiency Team is based on a unique and effective partnership between Cornwall Electric, Centra Gas, the Chamber of Commerce, local school boards, the Kiwanis Club, and the Rotary Club. Since the inception of the program, nearly $2.14 million has been invested in Cornwall including $1.0 million in provincial funds and over $2.42 million from the community. This capital has leveraged $2.14 million annually in direct energy savings and perhaps as much as $5 million annually when the full economic impacts of the program are considered and accounted. Furthermore, the program has created an estimated 60 new jobs in town.
Home tune-ups are at the core of the residential initiatives. A total of 10,800 homes have been treated with CEET’s free walk-through assessments complete with direct installation of energy and water saving measures and recommendations for becoming more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The typical customer experiences a annual savings of about $96 in energy costs with no money down! To finance the more costly recommendations, EnviroLoans are provided by Canada Trust and Green Loans are available from TD Bank. In addition to success in the residential element, Cornwall has supported retrofits in businesses, industries, schools, and hospitals, and has contributed both funding and expertise to improving transportation sector efficiency. The entire program has been so successful that it is being expanded to an entire tri-county area surrounding Cornwall.
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