Energy accessibility, sustainability, and affordability are an important focus of the Town of Bridgewater in ensuring residents are able to meet their basic needs. This focus on energy has taken the form of direction action through the Energize Bridgewater program. The Energize Bridgewater is a community-wide initiative led by the Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, and its many community Partners and supporters. Achieving a clean and affordable energy economy is everyone’s business, so everyone can be involved. In fact, everyone already is. By purchasing electricity, and refilling your car at the gas station, you’re making decisions every day that determine the energy reality of your household, your business, your organization and your community as a whole. Each energy decision, no matter how small, sets our community on a course toward or away from a clean energy economy.
Energize Bridgewater is about exploring new and emerging energy opportunities as a whole community, and setting up practical, cost effective solutions right here in our own backyards. Starting in the Summer of 2016, with the launch of the Community Energy Centre, the Energy Partnership and the Living Energy Laboratory, the Town started to work together with residents and community partners to accelerate the transition to a local, efficient, renewable energy economy. Our community’s efforts and findings have been recorded in the Community Energy Investment Plan, which was approved by Bridgewater Town Council in January 2018.
In 2018, the Town identified energy poverty as one of the most important issues faced by Bridgewater residents. As a finalist for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge in 2018, the Town of Bridgewater developed the Energy Poverty Reduction Program. Bridgewater won Infrastructure Canada’s $5 million Smart Cities Challenge in 2019 and has since started to work on developing a program to support residents facing energy poverty as a result of high home energy and transportation costs. More information on this program can be found at bridgewater.ca/smartcities.