Under the Electricity Act, 1998 - Ontario Regulation 507/18 and the Demand Management Plan, the St. Clair Catholic District School Board is required to report to the Ministry on its energy conservation investments from 2013-2018 and the new targets it has set for 2019-2023.
Both are captured in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan, which was presented to the Board of Trustees this evening.
"This report is a comprehensive snapshot of the investments we have made at St. Clair Catholic and the steps we have set out to continue to achieve energy savings through 2023," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.
From 2013 to 2018, the Board has invested nearly $12 million in energy management strategies, which include the installation of high efficiency lighting systems, high efficiency HVACs, boilers and rooftop systems for heating and cooling, improved glazing, wall insulation and new roofs.
It is estimated that a further $19.5 million will be invested in the design and construction of our new school builds in Chatham and Sarnia and retrofit strategies for existing schools now through 2023; and an additional $412,000 for planning, energy audits and training and education.
"The Board's strategic plan calls us to be wise stewards of the public resources with which we are entrusted," says Amy Janssens, Associate Director – Corporate Services & Treasurer. "That commitment also extends to our efforts to reduce, where we can, our carbon footprint, as we also seek to be environmental stewards of our planet."
In June 2018, Holy Rosary Catholic School received 'gold' certification with the Ontario EcoSchools program, joining a movement of over 1,900 certified schools across the province.
Since that time, Holy Rosary has been involved in a number of conservation activities.
"We all care for God's creation by managing and reducing our carbon footprint in measureable ways," Principal Margaret DeGurse told trustees during a presentation to the Board.
Some of the initiatives at the school include turning off lights and electronics to save energy; reducing waste from seven bags a day to one bag a day; using compostable garbage bags; used battery collection and using hydroponic tower gardens to grow vegetables indoors.
New initiatives this year include promoting a National Sweater Day contest across the St. Clair Catholic District School Board; collecting dried-up markers and pens; inviting speakers in to talk to students about farming and water systems; greening the school grounds by planting 11 new trees; and writing letters to politicians, commercials and a song to petition the proper disposal of contact lenses and the cases they come in. The students are really hoping the contact lens petition will make a huge impact in the future!
"One of the most rewarding outcomes of being an EcoSchool is that our students have become environmental stewardship leaders," says Mrs. DeGurse. "Not just at school, but also in their homes and in the community."
In the photo above, students from the Holy Rosary Eco-Schools Team with Principal Margaret DeGurse, following their presentation to the Board of Trustees on April 23, 2019.