Lighting up the Deh Cho Project

Recently AEA staff travelled to the Deh Cho communities of Jean Marie River, Wrigley, Fort Simpson and Nahanni Butte to complete a light bulb exchange project.

The purpose of this project was to replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) in private homes. The federal government has adopted a national standard for lighting efficiency that will come into effect in 2012. Most of the incandescent bulbs now available and in use do not meet the performance level set by this standard.

CFL light bulbs use significantly less electric power than incandescent light bulbs (13 watts for a CFL vs 60 watts for an incandescent bulb). This means that each light bulb changed represents a potential savings of $25 per year. At first glance that might not seem like much but if you look around your home and start counting how many light bulbs you use, you will be looking at 15 – 20 light bulbs. Multiply that $20 per bulb per year by 15 light bulbs and you get a savings of $375.

In addition to financial savings, the amount of power used to light the CFL bulbs is reduced by ¾ which means a reduction in electrical power generated and in these thermal communities (communities which get their electricity from a diesel generator) a reduction in fuel and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. Each incandescent light bulb replaced in a thermal community could potentially save 40 kg of C02e.

This project also represented an opportunity to talk with homeowners about other ways to reduce their energy use – heat, power and water – and let them know about the EEIP (Energy Efficiency Incentive Program), what products qualify and how to go about getting rebates.

AEA also wanted to promote the opening of its new permanent AEA office in Fort Simpson and that AEA now has a full-time presence on the second floor of the Dehcho First Nations office.

The project results were as follows:

Jean Marie River - 48 light bulbs replaced in 9 homes
Fort Simpson - 163 light bulbs replaced in 25 homes
Wrigley - 64 light bulbs replaced in 5 homes
Nahanni Butte - 103 light bulbs replaced in 15 homes

In total, this project resulted in $9,450 savings per year for private homeowners on their power bills and 15.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.