Jean Marie River Community Visit

Posted 2015-05-19
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Category Community Visits

At the end of March, the Arctic Energy Alliance’s Dehcho Energy Project Coordinator, Teresa Chilkowich, traveled to Jean Marie River (JMR).  While she was there she had a meeting with Chief Gladys Norwegian and the band office staff to show them how electricity use can be measured using a small energy measuring device called a Kill-a-Watt® meter (click here to see a short video on how to use one of these devices).  This wonderful little energy monitoring session spontaneously arose as Teresa endeavoured to address questions the Chief had about the amount of energy being consumed by a few appliances around the Community Hall.  


To use the Kill-a-Watt® meter, the price of electricity charged for government buildings (such as the JMR Community Hall/Band Office) was entered before plugging in the appliance to be tested.  After leaving one of the community hall pop machines plugged into the meter for 15 minutes, we discovered that it was consuming a tremendous amount of electricity.  At the community-specific government electricity rates (that First Nation & other government offices are charged for their commercial buildings) which are higher than NWT residential rates, this amounts to a very high electricity cost to operate just one of these machines in the community of Jean Marie River.  

 A month after these initial readings were taken, the pop machine being monitored was still using just as much electricity as it was when the Kill-a-Watt® meter was first plugged in.   As a result of this discovery back in March, the decision was made then, to immediately unplug one of the two machines and the Chief was going to discuss further action with the JMR First Nation Band Council for the other machine.  



The top photo shows a Kill-a-Watt® meter at Jean Marie River Band Office and the lower one shows the JMR commercial government electricity rate per kilowatt hour on the meter (for March 2015).