Friends of the Earth and the Ontario Association of Food Banks joined Ontario's Minister of Energy and representatives from Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas on Thursday to launch a pilot project to help families tackle climate change by conserving energy, saving money and improving comfort.
"Energy GreenBoxes" delivered across Ontario by Friends of the Earth-Canada, the Ontario Association of Food Banks and sponsors
Climate change concern turns to practical action
(February 5, 2007, Toronto) Friends of the Earth-Canada and the Ontario Association of Food Banks joined Ontario's Minister of Energy and representatives from Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas on Thursday to launch a pilot project to help families tackle climate change by conserving energy, saving money and improving comfort.
"For the average Canadian, climate change can present all sorts of challenges. But for families who are trying to make ends meet, it can be especially difficult. By teaming up with the Ontario Association of Food Banks, we are providing relief to thousands of families across the province," said Beatrice Olivastri of Friends of the Earth-Canada.
The Energy GreenBox contains rolls of insulating foam to seal doors and windows, draft excluders for power outlets, two compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) along with energy conservation tips and an offer for a complimentary membership in Friends of the Earth. The entire kit, assembled by Booth Industries and Community Living Toronto, comes in a sturdy reusable box.
A key component of the Energy GreenBox is an important offer that qualified Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas customers can use for access to substantial energy conservation in their homes at no cost.
Adam Spence, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks, says over 330,000 Ontarians are served by food banks every month. The majority, said Mr. Spence, spend seven times the proportion of their total income on fuel when compared with the highest income earners.
"We don't want anyone to have to make a choice between feeding their kids and heating their home. Climate change only makes it harder for families to know when the heating bill or the hydro bill will be big or small," said Mr. Spence.
Communities that have received the Energy GreenBox in the Enbridge Gas Distribution service area include: Alexandria, Beamsville, Brampton, Brockville, Dunnville, Erin, Fort Erie, Hawkesbury, Lindsay, Niagara Falls, Oshawa, Ottawa, Perth, Peterborough, and St. Catharines, Shelburne and Wasaga Beach.
"The McGuinty government is committed to fighting climate change. With this important pilot, we are providing Ontarians with the tools they need to save energy and money. Congratulations to all the partners, particularly Friends of the Earth, for developing this innovative program," said Dwight Duncan, Ontario's Minister of Energy.
Glenn Beaumont, Vice President of Enbridge Gas Distribution said, "As a leader in energy efficiency programs, Enbridge Gas Distribution is a proud founding sponsor of the Energy GreenBox program. We are sensitive to the needs of our low income customers and are pleased to help them reduce their ongoing energy costs this winter and beyond."
Communities that have received the Energy GreenBox in the Union Gas service area include Belleville, Brantford, Cambridge, Chatham, Hamilton, London, Sarnia, Sault St. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Windsor.
Mel Ydreos, Vice-President of Union Gas said, "We are committed to energy conservation and are pleased to bring sponsorship and conservation know-how to this important pilot project with Friends of the Earth and the Ontario Association of Food Banks. The Energy GreenBox is an effective tool to help families reduce their energy costs and support climate protection."
For more information, high resolution photos or to arrange interviews with Adam Spence, Beatrice Olivastri, or to contact Enbridge Gas Distribution or Union Gas, contact:
Jonathan Laderoute, ECO, 416-972-7401, laderoutej(at)huffstrategy.com
Friends of the Earth-Canada is a voice for the environment, working nationally and internationally to inspire the renewal of communities and the earth through research, education and advocacy. It is the Canadian member of the 70 country strong Friends of the Earth International.
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of over 100 food banks including communities across the province from Ottawa to Windsor, and Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay.
Energy GreenBox Distribution
Enbridge Gas Distribution
H Fort Erie
K Niagara Falls
L Wasaga Beach
Q St. Catherines
8 Sault Ste. Marie
10 Thunder Bay
Food Banks are distributing approximately 10,000 Green Boxes in each of the Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution service areas.
Responses from people who were part of the initial Energy GreenBox distribution:
I love this box. The tips are great. - St. Catherines
Received box at the food bank and thought it was the greatest. - Westwood
Excellent information provided for the common consumer. - Peterborough
I think the Energy GreenBox is a very unique and wonderful thing to have. - Ottawa
Excellent information, products, bright lightbulbs…thrilled by the information and energy saving products. Thanks. - Peterborough
It was a pleasant surprise. It is important to educate the public! Thank you for entering my family in the draw. We are very much in need of a new refrigerator! - Belleville