The world’s energy demand has been increasing exponentially as a result of our ever-increasing world population. In Canada, the majority of energy is currently supported via fossil resources – natural gas, oil, and coal. These fossil fuels are used for transportation, commercial, industrial and residential uses.
Due to the combustion of fossil fuels, profuse amounts of pollutants are released into the air, negatively impacting the local air quality levels. Local air quality is a vital concern; however winds and atmospheric turbulence can transport harmful emissions from neighbouring regions, which ultimately adds to the overall local air quality levels. Poor air quality can cause acute and chronic diseases in humans as well as animals and plants.
In Hamilton, there are various programs available for the public that are related to air quality and reducing energy consumption. A number of programs offer help to combat poor air quality and promote a more sustainable approach to local energy consumption:
Save on Energy focuses on retrofitting areas of lighting, motors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as overall electricity systems. By taking advantage of this program, businesses can contribute to a cleaner environment and benefit from incentives and lowered operating costs. In 2015 and 2016, the City of Hamilton replaced 10,000 high-pressure sodium cobra head light street lights with LED lights under the Save on Energy program. The City received $3.86 million incentive and reduced City Wide Street lighting electricity consumption by 26%.*
*comparing 2016 (year of project completion) to 2014 data, (previous to the commencement of project).
Earth Hour is a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which annually encourages households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and appliances for one hour to raise awareness of the need to tackle climate change. Earth Hour 2017 took place on March 25 and Hamilton saw a reduction of more than 4% of electricity consumption.
PowerWISE offers a variety of resources including a home energy audit tool, a PowerWISE electricity calculator, as well as an abundance of conservation tips.
Green Venture offers a variety of energy focused programs including home energy evaluations.