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October 14, 2005 - Local Organizations Share the Warmth with 100 Moose Jaw Families

October 14, 2005

Local Organizations Share the Warmth
 with 100 Moose Jaw Families

Volunteers in Moose Jaw are helping families get their homes ready for winter. Today is the launch of the SaskEnergy Share the Warmth Home Energy Efficiency Project, a pilot program where volunteers from community organizations help 100 low-income families improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

This newest addition to the Share the Warmth Project selected the theme of "100 years, 100 homes" to coincide with this year's Saskatchewan Centennial.

"The new Share the Warmth Home Energy Efficiency Project helps families in need better manage their energy costs," Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Harry Van Mulligen said. "For most of us, a trip to the hardware store for weather stripping isn't a big deal. But for some, it's beyond their reach as they're simply trying to make ends meet. With the help of community partners, SaskEnergy hopes to expand this pilot project to other Saskatchewan centres."

The improvements - valued at more than $200 plus installation for each home - include preparing windows and doors for winter, replacing furnace filters, installing a working smoke detector, putting in low-flow shower heads and faucets, installing compact fluorescent lights and installing an ENERGY STAR™ programmable thermostat.

"This is an exciting program that has environmental benefits and will help to save these residents money that can be spent on other necessities," Minister of the Environment David Forbes said. "Taking care of our people and our environment is the basis of our green and prosperous economy."

The Salvation Army has been responsible for selecting the 100 families whose homes will be made more energy efficient.

"There is a great need in the community for this type of project," said Captain Kristiana MacKenzie of the Salvation Army. "Many of these families are not able to afford improvements to their homes. It is great that the community can step forward and help."

For the day, students from the SIAST Palliser Architectural Program are teaming up with volunteers from the community to make improvements to the 100 homes selected. The SIAST students are able to use the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom and apply it to real-life projects as they work on the homes.

"The work undertaken today is part of an applied research project that could ultimately benefit more than the 100 families whose homes were upgraded," said Bob McCulloch, President and CEO of SIAST. "It's a very real and positive move in support of sustainable communities. As well, it provides students with valuable, practical experience."

Each team of volunteers will complete the energy efficiency improvements in two homes - one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The many organizations that are working on this project include the Salvation Army, SaskEnergy, SIAST, the Moose Jaw Fire Department and Firefighters Union, the Office of Energy Conservation, and Moose Jaw Canadian Tire.

For more information, please contact:

Dave Burdeniuk
Manager, Communications
Phone: 306.777.9842 or 306.535.6569 (cell)

Cal Thomas
Co-ordinator of Marketing and Communications
Phone: 306.694.3194

Captain Kristiana MacKenzie
Associate Director of Public Relations and Development
Salvation Army
Phone: 306.757.3111 or 306.533.0756 (cell)

Grant McVicar
The Office of Energy Conservation
Phone: 306.787.6033