ERCA Accelerates Essex County Regional Energy Plan


The Essex County Regional Energy Plan is being fast-tracked for the New Year.

Windsor-Essex uses double the energy of the ideal home or business, according to Climate Change Specialist Claire Sanders.

She presented the next steps in the plan to reduce those emissions by tapping into retrofitting programs at Thursday night's Essex Region Conservation Authority meeting.

Sanders says timelines were accelerated to tap into funding tied into the COVID-19 recovery promised by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his Throne Speech.

"This plan is lining us up to be able to take advantage of some of that money as well," says Sanders. "It's going to be a 30 year project, but we hope to get implementing very quickly on some of these things to take advantage."

She says residents and business owners don't need to be environmentally conscious to see the value in retrofitting programs.

"Our industry sees it, our growers see it; the biggest cost for businesses and industrial sectors is their energy," she added.

The study gathered data from energy providers and homes in the region.

Sanders tells AM800 News Essex County spends $820-million on energy annually and that could hit anywhere from $1.9-billion to $3.1-billion annually by 2041.

"Most of it leaves the region, so it goes back to Alberta or other places in the province where the energy is generated and leaves our pockets," says Sanders. "It's $820-million for the region and about $4,300 per person."

If everything goes as planned, Sanders says the Essex County Regional Energy Plan will be implemented by February of 2021.

She says money invested in retrofitting homes and businesses locally is expected to generate jobs and stimulate the economy.