Executive Summary: Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Our community will lift its residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate by 20% by 2025.

Bridgewater's growing need for clean and reliable energy is limited by our ability to afford it. Our estimates show that the burden of energy poverty is carried by 38% of Bridgewater households that are unable to meet their basic energy and transportation needs. Many more are at risk of falling into this category as it's expected that energy prices will continue to trend upwards. Bridgewater is approaching this issue through systematic change at a household, neighbourhood, community, and regional level by, treating access to affordable and secure energy as a requirement for healthy living. To ensure residents can live free of the constant threat of energy poverty, our program uses energy management as a smart city approach for resident empowerment.

Bridgewater envisions an Energy Poverty Reduction Program that uses data and connected technology to bring together and drive energy savings to create financial returns for households and property owners. This system also provides coordinated access to community supports for households experiencing energy poverty. And finally, a financial system that supports extensive investment in energy efficiency solutions.

Bridgewater's impactful, comprehensive approach to community-based problem solving and transformational change is highly transferrable to communities across the country that are struggling with energy poverty challenges of their own. Municipalities are uniquely positioned to be at the forefront the of shifting world of energy systems, pairing data and connected technologies for community services that ensure underserved populations are the first beneficiaries of the energy transition.

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