Brampton Environmental Alliance hosts Annual General Meeting

AGM Announcement Tile

The Brampton Environmental Alliance (BEA) hosted its second annual general meeting this past Wednesday March 13th. Twenty-two individual and organizational members attended along with 9 non-members and 5 guests. Among the guests was Brampton North MPP Graham McGregor who engaged with members at the conclusion of the meeting.

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Heat Pump Chronicles Vol. 6 Is “Axing the Tax” really a good idea?

This is the sixth in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

I realize I’m about to wade into the political swamp by arguing that taxing carbon is a good thing for Canada and for most Canadians. Mr. Pierre Poilievre, leader of his majesty’s loyal opposition, has made carbon taxation the key plank in his Conservative party’s unofficial election platform. And, if the polls are correct, he has successfully convinced the majority of Canadians that this villainous initiative of the Liberal government’s environmental strategy is the root cause of virtually all of this country’s economic woes.

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Heat Pump Chronicles Vol 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

My wife Dayle and I have been living with our Mitsubishi Zuba cold-climate heat pump for over three months now and are still very pleased with its performance. We survived last week, through several of the winter’s coldest days, minus 16 degrees Celsius at night, minus 22 with wind-chill.

Overall our house has been more comfortable, mostly because the air isn’t as dry as was the case with our previous natural gas furnace. Scientifically, I’m not sure why that is the case. We are still heating the air and adding water through the same humidifier. But during last year’s cold snap, our humidity dropped to about 30%, whereas this year it’s been hovering around 50%. That means no static cling and no painful shock as you touch a light switch. The absence of these things is noticeable. It also means that we’ve been able to lower the thermostat temperature by a full degree without loss of comfort.

Not that the entire experience since installation has been perfect. There are a few things about the process that you should be aware of should you decide to embark on a similar project. I want to start with the energy audit process for that is key to accessing government grants and loans.

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Heat Pump Chronicles Vol 4

This is the fourth in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

Our heat pump is installed. It’s beautiful and, although it’s only been five days, we love it! We are noticing a more comfortable, consistent temperature throughout the house. In fact, it has felt so warm, even in the basement, that we’ve been able to lower the thermostat temperature by .5°C and not feel cool.

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Heat Pump Chronicles Vol 3

This is the third in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

With Thanksgiving upon us and the weather turning colder, I realize it’s been almost 6 months since my last post about our journey to replace our natural gas furnace with a heat pump. No, we haven’t given up, far from it. But progress has been slower than anticipated navigating the granting and loan processes within the Federal and Provincial government agencies. And there hasn’t been a lot to tell you.

It turns out, a lot of the delay was the result of bad timing and poor communication. So, if you are considering making the switch, I can assure you that your journey will be easier than mine. Here’s why.

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Mobility 2040

Franceschini bridge

The Future of Transportation in the City of Brampton

Sometimes it hard to imagine what is going to happen next week let alone by 2040. But that’s what the City of Brampton Transportation Planning staff are trying to do as they envision how transportation in this City will evolve by the year 2040. They are launching a study to update the current 2015 Brampton Transportation Master Plan into a new Brampton Mobility Plan that will guide the City’s investment in transportation over the next 17 years. They are looking for your input. Join a virtual public meeting on July 18th at 7:00pm. And you can provide comments in a survey and map that is available until the end of July.

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Centre for Community Energy Transformation Announces New Executive Director

The Board of the Centre for Community Energy Transformation (CCET), is pleased to announce that Tony Iacobelli is assuming the position of Executive Director, effective June 5th.

The Centre for Community Energy Transformation is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation supported by Peel and its municipal partners to lead energy transformation in the Region and help the transition to a low-carbon future.

Initially referred to as the Institute for Sustainable Brampton, the creation of the CCET was called for as part of Brampton’s 2040 vision project.

It is designed to be an organization that will advocate for energy investments, secure both private and public funding opportunities and be a hub for municipal energy excellence. It will assist residents, businesses and commercial property owners with improving energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions.

Tony Iacobelli is an ecologist, award-winning planner, and green building advocate. While at City of Markham, he secured Council endorsement for a pathway to net zero energy buildings by 2030. He also launched the City’s first comprehensive natural assets study. Previously, at City of Vaughan, Tony developed and implemented, Sustainability Performance Metrics, an innovative, award-winning program for reviewing development applications that was created collaboratively with Brampton and Richmond Hill.

“We are delighted to welcome Tony as our first full-time Executive Director”, says Peter Love, CCET Board Chair. “His combination of experience, background and enthusiasm is exactly what we need to ensure that our new organization realizes its full potential of impacting the energy transformation in Peel Region.”

Tony says, “I am thrilled to be joining the Centre for Community Energy Transformation as its founding Executive Director”. “Working together with our Board, the communities of Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon, and our partners, we will scale up climate action in Peel Region with the goal of dramatically reducing carbon emissions and shifting to a sustainable energy future. I am excited to be a part of this momentum for change and honoured to be leading this important initiative.”

Stay tuned for more exciting news, soon to come from the Centre for Community Energy Transformation.

Great turnout at the 2023 Earth Day Festival despite the Wet!

It was like déja vu all over again! Earth Day, Saturday April 22, 2023 dawned almost identically to the same day last year, cold, rain and, wind. Perhaps not quite as cold, but almost. As one of the exhibitors expressed, “It’s the Earth crying about all the horrible things we’ve done to her in the last year.”

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Heat Pump Chronicles Vol2

back yard at dawn

This is the second in a series of posts on our journey to navigate government grants and loans available for home energy retrofits and to replace our natural gas furnace with a cold-climate heat pump. Click here to see all articles in the series.

A New Beginning

In the previous post I reported the 16-year-old natural gas furnace in Dayle’s and my home started acting up just before Christmas. We’d invested in a furnace maintenance call in the fall that resulted in a part being replaced, a reassurance that our furnace was in good shape, and a $200 bill. So, when the Christmas Eve repairman, left us without finding the problem, only another charge approaching $200, I was not amused. The weather turned really cold on Boxing Day. Our ailing furnace struggled to get the inside temperature above 18°C. I felt like Bob Cratchit, forced to wear double sweaters, tuque and mittens with the fingers cut out. But I was resolved not to replace our current furnace with another natural gas unit. I wanted a heat pump that would be fossil-fuel free.

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