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Basin buildings get energy wise

Columbia Basin Trust supports 28 projects with $800,000+
The Salmo Children’s Centre will become more energy friendly with support from a Trust energy grant.

The building of an East Trail advocacy agency is one of 28 locales across the Basin given a hand up to help reduce energy costs by Columbia Basin Trust (Trust).

Trail FAIR (Family and Individual Resource Centre Society), a social service office located on Columbia Avenue, was given almost $30,000 to upgrade to LED lighting.

Also in the more immediate region was the Salmo Child Care Society. The non-profit received close to $11,000 to install a high-efficiency gas furnace in its daycare centre, along with LED lights that will reduce electricity consumption and save money.

“Our centre was built before the recent advancements in energy conservation, so we are looking forward to not only the financial benefits of a more sustainable building, but also the long-term environmental benefits,” said Cathy Paton, Executive Director.

“Even the application process has already taught us so much about how we can reduce energy consumption.”

All grant recipients in 19 communities are undertaking projects to generate energy, increase energy efficiency and sustainability, and reduce energy costs.

The related jobs are being supported by over $800,000 from Columbia Basin Trust’s Energy Sustainability Grants.

The grants support community buildings that range from halls to aquatic centres, and activities can vary from installing LED lighting to adding heat pumps.

Projects may also include improvements like upgrading windows, adding insulation and upgrading ventilation, even installing electric vehicle charging stations.

“Communities told us that renewable and alternative energy generation and conservation are important to them, and this program helps reduce the impact on the environment while realizing financial and sustainability benefits for building operators,” said Mark Brunton, the Trust’s senior manager, delivery of benefits.

“These upgrades will help make community buildings more viable into the future, so they can continue to play important roles in the lives of people in the Basin.”

There will be another opportunity to apply for this program later this year.

To learn more about the Trust’s Energy Sustainability Grants and upcoming intakes, visit

This program is one of the ways the Trust helps communities conserve energy and generate renewable energy.

The Trust has also supported an electric vehicle charging network across the Basin, plus helped improve energy efficiency and sustainability in over 1,000 affordable rental housing units in the Basin.

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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