Dawn-Euphemia explores using solar to save on township power bills

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Dawn-Euphemia is considering going solar.

Township Treasurer, Marc Seguin, presented council with a plan to place solar panels on the Dawn-Euphemia Community Centre, the Cairo garage, the township office, fire hall, and Rutherford garage at Monday’s council meeting. And he says there may be grants of up to 75 per cent of the project cost to help pay the initial costs.

“The Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program is an excellent opportunity for Dawn-Euphemia to provide a leading example of green initiatives for the community, and to provide a steady reduction of expenses to a small electrical income which will in turn help fund the community into the future,” he wrote in a report to council.

Seguin says the project would cost about $250,000, including engineering to make sure the roofs could bear the weight of the systems. The federal grant could pay between 75 per cent of the cost. That would mean the project would pay for itself in three years.

But Seguin says it will also lower the municipal electric bills. “We’re looking at around – give or take – 22 years with minimal expenses on electricity for all of our buildings and I think that is a great idea. It reduces costs, it reduces carbon footprint.”

Councillors weren’t completely sold. Some were concerned about the municipality’s cost to maintain the solar panels. Councillor Jason Myer was concerned about insurance rates on the buildings with solar panels. “I know, sometimes it’s difficult or expensive to get insurance on solar panel projects of that nature,” he says.

Some insurance companies will raise rates because of a potential fire hazard.

Seguin says the insurance company wasn’t able to answer that question immediately because they were in the middle of setting insurance rates for 2022.

Council will look at the project again after the treasurer reports back on their concerns.