Get Inspired

Find out about what’s happening across the province around sustainable energy through our:

Info-Graphics:

– Ontario farmers (JPG)                                                – Solar energy for farmers

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– Micro solar stations                                                    – Community ownership (JPG)

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– German solar integration

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– Electric Cars (JPG, PDF)         – Energy efficiency (JPG, PDF)      – Transportation and
                                                                                                 greenhouse gas emissions (PNG, PDF)

 

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– Economic benefits for Ontario                                    – Me to We Style: Why Choose Socially Responsible
and local communities (PNGPDF for print)                  Eco-friendly Apparel
(download)

 

Stories:

Ernestown Wind Park to celebrate first anniversary at Green Energy Doors Open

“One year ago this October, Ernestown Wind Park, located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Loyalist Township, began generating clean, renewable power for the province. The story of this project, however, is over a decade in the making, and began as the dream of developer Anthony Zwig.”

Decentralising Canada’s energy system

“In 1973, E.F. Schumacher coined the term “small is beautiful,” and in light of today’s climate crisis, this is truer than ever.

The good news is, when it comes to our energy needs, we already have the knowledge and technology to build small (and beautiful) through decentralised energy (DE) systems – i.e., electricity and thermal power that is generated close to the customer. But as we transition to a cleaner, smarter decentralised energy infrastructure, there are challenges that we must overcome, from conveying the benefits to decision makers to demonstrating the cost savings to end users. Quite simply, we’ve had it so good for so long and most people just aren’t aware that there is a better way to generate power.”

Tim Short is leading by example

Meet Tim, a sustainable homeowner and father of 3 young boys. Tim began the transformation of his 2-story Toronto home in 2007, when he first installed a solar thermal system to heat his water supply. This alone was able to help Tim cut his hot water bill in half.

Guelph Renewable Energy Co-operative’s First Project is Online!

“The first of two projects by Guelph Renewable Energy Co-operative (GRECo) is now complete! The 110 kWp structure located at 2 Airpark Place in Guelph is up and running.  A second 300 kWp project at 218 Silvercreek Parkway is under construction and expected to be completed later this summer.  We spoke to Evan Ferrari to learn more about GRECo and the projects.”

Children’s Teaching Kitchen shines a light on green energy

“The Children’s Teaching Kitchen puts sustainability first. Located in beautiful High Park, Toronto, the municipally-owned eco-friendly building is home to the Children’s Eco Programs – day camps, cooking programs and school field trips throughout the year where children ages 3-17 have the opportunity to learn about organic gardening, cooking, nature, and more.”

Off-grid home aligns values with lifestyle in the Bruce Peninsula

“As Jim Kuellmer describes, Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula is a place where people tend to be self-reliant. It’s not surprising, then, that a growing movement in the area has people going off-grid by conserving energy and heat and producing electricity locally – right on their property, in fact…”

Power to the People!
By Devon Thompson

7248_BrantSportsComplex“The fight for sustainability is being fought extensively in Canada by various for-profit and non-profit organizations. To recognize these organizations for their contributions in Canadian economic development, job creation, and prosperity, the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) shines a spotlight on their achievements during the annual Power Prosperity Awards Dinner.

Brant Renewable Energy (BRE) was one of the organizations nominated to win an award at the ceremony in January of 2015. The categories were: 20/20 Leadership Award, Aboriginal Project of the Year Award, Community Project of the Year Award and Developer of the Year Award. It is important to note that Brant Renewable Energy is the only company that was nominated in almost all categories.” Read on

Lowfoot’s Smart Data Engine Is Powering Ontario’s Prosperity
By Alon Rodovinsky

LowfootArticleImage“Making sure that we generate enough energy to meet society’s growing energy consumption sustainably is one challenge, but there is another hurdle we must overcome. As the population continues to grow, so does the task of making sure that the energy gets to where it needs to go.

In response, utilities have begun modernizing their electricity transmission and distribution systems. Smart meters and data analytics technology have paved the way to more dynamic solutions for demand and supply. These upgrades will help meet the needs of an increasingly numerous and complex clientele.” Read on

Sustainable Energy, what are we waiting for?
An Interview with Jay Heaman of Woodstock Hydro
By Colette Lavoie Robertson

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“Maybe eventually, we will all generate all of the power we need for our homes, vehicles and heating. We will have the ability to share our power with our neighbours. Our cars will become power sources for our homes. We will reach a point where fossil fuels are no longer needed for heating and mobility.”

Jay Heaman

The Green Energy Act: We need to lead by example

Many don’t realize that in addition to the Feed-in Tariff and energy efficiency programs, the Green Energy Act was designed to encourage municipalities and utilities to lead by example. Municipalities are now required to establish a Municipal Energy Plan and to engage residents in community based energy programs. The idea is that residents as consumers will learn from this level of leadership and eventually adopt many of the ideas and improvements into their lives.

When I began working on this article I realized that at times the terminology of the energy sector, like so many industries, can be intimidating almost impenetrable. Thankfully my training as a teacher has equipped me with the ability to ask lots of questions and with the help of our guide, Mr. Jay Heaman, I was able, I hope, to capture the amazing story for you as readers to enjoy.

This article is divided into two parts. The first section highlights a bit of Jay’s story and some of the key initiatives of Woodstock Hydro. The second section profiles the utility’s participation in Green Energy Doors Open this past October. Read on

Solar Energy: A leap of faith
By Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko lBROLymD

What do many faith communities have in common besides shared teachings and philosophies that speak of caring for the earth? Buildings of course, with rooftops-many of which are perfectly angled to receive the glorious light of the sun!

In Ontario, there are around 7000 religious organizations and of these, 137 have rooftop solar installations. Read on

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Picture of Julia Zeeman, Board Member of Sustainability Ontario Community Energy Co-op, during their visit of Steam Whistle Brewery during Green Energy Doors Open 2014 (Oct. 4, 2014)

Steam Whistle – Not only the bottle is green
By Phillip Schulze-Garg

The founding of Steam Whistle is a story that has become a bit of a legend over the last decade. In 1998, three young and ambitious friends, all let go simultaneously from Upper Canada Brewing Company, were determined to start their own brewery. Without the burden of operating an inherited business with fixed structures and procedures Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell felt passionate about doing “the right thing” from the beginning. Housed in one of North America’s oldest surviving round-houses the three literally had to start their brewery from scratch; the round-house was a shell of a building. Challenges, however, more often than not are also opportunities. Keeping to their values they developed and implemented a strategy to combine smart business and sustainability practices recognizing that one does not exclude the other. After two long years of preparation, Steam Whistle began operating in 2000. Read on

A green congregation builds an affordable and efficient Abode of Peace in North Toronto
By Vanessa KanjiAhmadiyya Abode of Peace-outside-IMG_20141004_095442_web

There is a beacon of sustainability and community in North Toronto that is inspiring its neighbours and other communities to go green. The Ahmadiyya
Abode of Peace is a non-profit housing project that began construction in 1993. Spearheaded by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Toronto, its focus is to use new technological developments to preserve and conserve energy for the purpose of creating greater affordability for it’s residents. This principle of preservation and conservation is a keystone of the Ahmadiyya philosophy, faith and practice, which spans over 200 countries worldwide. It is not surprising therefore, that it was the foundation of their housing project. Read on

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Technological advancements through the mid to late 20th century have led to a rapid increase in carbon emissions that are having a devastating effect on our atmosphere and the environment as a whole. As seen last week during the United Nation’s Climate Summit, governments and companies alike are scrambling to figure out how to reduce carbon output and develop strategies to adapt as the impacts of our fossil fuelled mess increase. We can’t wait for government and industry to save us though. As individuals we need to take action to lessen our carbon footprints as well, or if possible, eliminate it all together. Is it possible? Read on

Aerecura Rammed Earth Builders: Visit October 4th during Green Energy Doors Open or have them build your home!
By Natasha Gaudio 

Aerecura_IMG_7645smallThis house is made out of dirt.

And yours could be, too.

Sylvia Cook’s dream was to build her own sustainable, green house. After her career as a high school science teacher, this chance finally presented itself. With many years of DIY building at her family cottage under her belt, she had always held a keen interest in different types of structures and green building. Extensive research led to her discovery of rammed earth, a concept whereby using pneumatic sand tampers, a carefully selected mix of dirt is rammed into place to create an uncannily structurally sound wall. She signed herself up for a rammed earth workshop and fell in love. Luckily, Cook was equipped with an eager, then-university aged son, Graham, who shares her penchant for sustainable building and was ready for a unique home building challenge. Read on

DSCN0823My journey to the end of the world to see the impossible: 100% self-sufficient and renewable
By Kristopher Stevens

100% renewables is impossible…and the world is flat.

Up until Christopher Columbus sailed west, El Hierro was believed to be the last land before the end of the world.  Sea monsters loomed on the horizon ready to devour ships and those audacious enough to journey into the unknown would fall off the edge into oblivion. Read on

LoyaltyOne spreads awareness and inspiration through local initiatives
By Lori StewartLoyaltyOne_image

At LoyaltyOne – the customer loyalty specialists behind Air Miles, Dotz, and other popular customer loyalty programs – efficiency is the name of the game. And as they’ve come to learn through their in-house pilot programs, corporate culture, and environmental initiatives, sustainability is the key to attaining it. One of OSEA’s newest members, LoyaltyOne is paving the way, by corporate and individual example, to a more sustainable and environmentally aware Ontario. Read on

Case Studies:

– Chris and Clare’s Zero Carbon Home (PDF – Chris and Clare Weissflog_Case Study Form)

– EVPV Stevie’s House (PDF – Stephen Bieda_Case Study Form)

– Queen Victoria House (PDF – Queen Victoria House_Case Study Form)

– Short Family’s Residential Solar (PDF – Short Residential Solar_Case Study)

 

Videos:

Trailblazers 1: Steam Whistle Brewing

Trailblazers 2: Zooshare

Trailblazers 3: TREC Education

Trailblazers 4: Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace

Trailblazers 5: SOCEC