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Lighting, showerheads, rain gauges — Green Home and Energy Show has it all

Brendan Quinn
By Brendan Quinn
October 6th, 2016

It’s obvious from the turnout at the fourth annual Green Home and Energy Show Wednesday at the Prestige Inn Lakeside Resort that a lot of people are concerned about saving energy, living green and helping to fight climate change.

The Energy Show, co-hosted by Nelson Hydro’s EcoSave Program and the West Kootenay EcoSociety, featured sustainable options for building and renovating as well as electric vehicles.

From off the grid living and solar energy technology to electric bikes and low-flow toilets, attendees were able to check out a variety of innovative opportunities for green living.

“I think it’s a really easy sell here in Nelson, people here are generally keen on how they can improve the environment and what they can do to fight climate change and this is definitely one of them,” said Carmen Proctor, EcoSave Program Manager and organizer of the event.

The room at the Prestige Inn was so packed it was hard to move around. During the speeches, which took place in an adjacent room, every seat was filled with keen faces.

“This is the fourth annual and every year we see a fairly large crowd come out and we always get lots of positive feedback not only from the vendors but as well as the community,” Proctor said Wednesday during the show.

“Each year we try to add something new so that we can make it exciting for people to come back, repeat customers so to speak.”

Proctor also spoke as a representative for Nelson Hydro and their new Eco-Save energy retrofits program, which offers customers the chance to undergo energy evaluations and find out just how energy efficient their homes are and what they can do to improve it.

“[Customers] can access the Fortis BC rebates,” she said.

“All Nelson Hydro’s customers can do that but not everybody knows about it. We also have a really awesome low interest financing program to for those that live in Nelson they can finance up to 16k in energy upgrades and repay it on their Nelson hydro bill over a five or ten year term.”

The City of Nelson was also present to speak with residents about water conservation and hand out some free goodies like low-flow showerheads and rain gauges.

“I think the global trend in relation to sustainability topics is increasing and with the Eco-Society’s 100% renewable energy Kootenay’s campaign it all fits really well together and that’s why there is so many people here. This is probably the busiest year ever,” said Avery Deboer-Smith, representative for the City of Nelson.

The Eco-Society was at the event promoting their new campaign, which aims to convert the West Kootenays to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

According to their representatives, the Eco-Society is attempting to get a third of the population of Nelson to sign a petition to bring to council in order to get backing for the project including municipal staff and resources.

“We are getting lots of signatures, we have over 600 sigs already and we just started the campaign and we’re hoping to have it completely filled up by next summer and that’s our goal right now. It’s a really positive in the community,” said Erin Thompson, a volunteer with the Eco Society.

Thompson said that while signatures were very important to highlight the support from Nelson residents, it still isn’t enough and the Eco Society is always looking for volunteers to help canvas and promote the plan.

“We realized that we couldn’t transition the Kootenays to 100% renewable energy with volunteer efforts alone. However it’s really important to have volunteers involved in part of taking ownership for the area that we live in and contributing to the cause,” she said.

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