Energy saving program launched

Peggy Revell

Small actions can make a big difference was the message last Wednesday as Union Gas and the Rainy River District School Board launched a new program at J.W. Walker School that will see students and staff receive free “Energy Savings Kits.”
“It’s a $35 retail value that we’re providing free and at no cost for the board and no cost to the households,” Jonathan Foulds of Union Gas said about the kits that will be available at 11 board schools.
“The gas and water savings cumulatively is about $100 a year if [families] use all the components,” he noted.
Each of the kits include an energy-efficient shower head, kitchen faucet aerator, bathroom aerator, and two metres of foam pipe insulation.
And the savings aren’t just limited to money. If all families from the participating schools install the kit, Union Gas estimates the potential environmental benefits would mean a cut in carbon monoxide emissions by close to 800,000 kg and the conservation of 100 million litres of water.
“The RRDSB is committed to environmental stewardship,” said Raymond Roy, the board’s manager of plant operations, who was on hand for last Wednesday’s launch.
“The reason we chose J.W. Walker School as the launch of this partnership with Union Gas is because of the leadership of students and staff at J.W. Walker School,” Roy added.
“They are leaders within our board.”
Foulds noted Union Gas already works a lot with the board towards improving energy-efficiency within the schools—with this new project being an opportunity to expand these efforts beyond just the schools and into the homes of students and staff.
“Union Gas wants to be a good steward of our resources,” Foulds remarked. “This is a tangible way that we can help the environment, as well as save a few dollars for our customers.”
It’s an environmental effort that’s even extended to the packaging which the kits come in, he added.
“All the packaging is biodegradable and made from recycled materials, so we’ve really tried to be committed to that all the way around,” he stressed.
“The Rainy River District School Board is firmly committed to energy conservation, our environment, and our communities,” said Heather Campbell, the board’s superintendent of education.
“This partnership enhances our work in reducing our energy footprint and promoting environmental responsibility,” she noted. “It teaches all of us that by working together, we can make a positive difference.”
The kits also will be available through Crossroads, Donald Young, Huffman, North Star, Riverview, Robert Moore, Atikokan High School, Fort Frances High School, Rainy River High School, and the Education Centre (board office).
Families should have received, or will be receiving, letters from the schools and board with more information on the project.
The kits will be distributed amongst the participating schools the week of Oct. 19.