A new grocery store and six homes being built in the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) will be built with energy efficient features, thanks to a new provincial grant initiative.
Alberta’s Indigenous Energy Efficiency Program helps Indigenous communities reduce their energy expenses and greenhouse gases.
The features paid for by the $636,460 grant, will prevent up to 90 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually from entering the atmosphere and will save the community up to an average 25 per cent in electricity and heating costs per year over the next 25 years.
Chief Allan Adam of ACFN says the lower cost of utilities for the grocery store will be reflected in prices.
“Being able to build these projects to be energy-efficient will save our community money and help combat climate change. Energy-efficient homes will lower the cost of utilities and an energy-efficient grocery store will reduce operating costs.”
The store will have LED lighting, better insulation and a high-efficiency refrigeration system that will recycle heat back into the building.
New homes will feature programmable thermostats, low-flow plumbing and Energy Star appliances, along with high-quality windows and spray foam insulation.
The grant is part of $35 million in funding available this fiscal year through various streams, including the Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program, to meet the needs of Indigenous communities tackling climate change.