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Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities Challenge: Finalist Application Submission

On March 5, the Town submitted its Smart Cities Challenge Finalist application to Infrastructure Canada. In the application, the Town proposes an Energy Poverty Reduction Program to lift residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate 20% by 2025. Bridgewater was announced as one of five finalists for the $5 million Smart Cities Challenge competition in Spring of 2018. The final application is the result of many months of consultation with Bridgewater residents and community partners. Infrastructure will announce the winners of the Smart Cities Challenge in the Spring. Stay tuned to Town of Bridgewater and Energize Bridgewater social media for updates on the project.

Read the application here: Energy Poverty Reduction Program 

Bridgewater's 5-minute Smart Cities Challenge Video Pitch

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

Bridgewater Townscape Transparent

Energize Bridgewater Monthly Zine

Read about the latest in sustainability in Bridgewater including the Smart Cities Challenge, Bridgewater transit, and more. 

The December Edition (Click on cover page to read) 

Energize Bridgewater Zine December Edition Picture



















November Edition (Click on cover page to read) 

Energize Bridgewater Zine 




















Smart Cities Challenge Video Gallery

Youth Video Documentary: Living in Energy Poverty 

Smart Cities Challenge Jury Check-in Video 

Eliminating Energy Poverty Through Clean Energy


Bridgewater Bright Business Community Award Winner 

Engaging the Community on Energy Poverty










About Bridgewater's Smart Cities Challenge Project to Reduce Energy Poverty

What is energy poverty?

Energy poverty is a debilitating problem in our community, as it is for many communities across Canada. A widely accepted definition of energy poverty is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy to heat and power the home (electricity, fuel oil, propane, firewood, etc.), as well as for the fuel it needs for its routine commutes.

Why is energy poverty such an important issue in Bridgewater?

Our best available evidence suggests that 38% of Bridgewater residents experience some form of energy poverty either as a chronic condition or periodically as the household balance sheet fares better or worse depending on its income prospects and its health and social needs.  Energy poverty is also closely linked to housing poverty. Living in energy poverty profoundly impacts the wellbeing of individuals and families.  The Town of Bridgewater, and its many community partners, have documented physical and mental health impacts, social challenges, and financial hardships among individuals and families living in energy poverty.

While charitable and government poverty relief services exist, there is broad agreement across the community service sector that existing services are unable to address the magnitude of the problem, and are failing to address the structural and systemic causes of energy and housing poverty. The problem also appears to be getting worse as energy prices continue to rise and incomes remain stagnant.


Smart Cities Challenge Journey Poster Revised


Energize Bridgewater Team

  • Jessica McDonald, Director of Planning and Recreation
  • Leon de Vreede, Project Lead
  • Myles Cornish, On-Site Energy Manager
  • Greg Goubko, Energy and Finance Development Coordinator
  • Mackenzie Childs, Junior Planner
  • Nelson Nolan, Planning and Sustainability Intern 




Energy and Financing Working Group 

  • Kaelan Keys, Business Development Manager, Efficiency Nova Scotia
  • Don Regan, Superintendent,   Berwick Electric Commission
  • Kathleen Heymans, Policy  Analyst and Coordinator,   Nova Scotia Department of  Energy
  • Samantha Peverill, Nova Scotia  Services Lead, Quality Urban Energy Systems  of Tomorrow (QUEST)
  • Andy Horsnell, Founder &   Owner,   Andy Horsnell Consulting
  • Douglas MacLennan, Vice President of  Development, New Dawn Enterprises
  • Richard Bridge, Barrister &   Solicitor
  • Mark Hewitt, Technology Specialist
  • Fernando Paulovich, Canada Research Chair in Data Visualization and Associate Professor, Dalhousie University 


Project Partners

See the appendix of the Energy Poverty Reduction Program document for letters of support from the following project partners:

  • Affordable Energy Coalition
  • Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia
  • Be the Peace Institute
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of South Shore
  • Bridgewater Active Transportation Advisory Committee
  • Bridgewater and Area Lions Club
  • Clean Foundation
  • Dalhousie University - Faculty of Computer Science
  • Ecology Action Centre
  • EfficiencyNova Scotia / EfficiencyOne
  • Energy Services Association of Canada
  • Family Services of Western Nova Scotia
  • Housing Nova Scotia
  • Lunenburg County Seniors Safety Program
  • Lunenburg County YMCA
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • New Dawn Enterprises Limited
  • Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network
  • Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines
  • Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Nova Scotia Power
  • Nova Scotia Works
  • Nova Scotia Community College – Lunenburg Campus
  • Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow
  • RNDT Development
  • SchoolsPlus
  • Second Story Women’s Centre
  • Small World Learning Centre
  • Society St. Vincent de Paul
  • Souls Harbour Bridgewater
  • South Shore Family Resource Association
  • South Shore Housing Action Coalition
  • St. Mary’s University - Department of Mathematics and Computing Science
  • The Ark and Support Services Group
  • The Honourable Mark Furey, MLA Lunenburg West
  • The Honourable Steven McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia
  • The Salvation Army, Bridgewater Corps
  • TownSuite Municipal Software
  • United Way Lunenburg County


Smart Cities Challenge Library 

Bridgewater's Initial Smart Cities Challenge Submission 

Smart Cities Challenge Project Charter 

Smart Cities Challenge Community Engagement Plan 

Community Energy Investment Plan: The Way Forward

Community Energy Financing Mechanisms Scoping Study 

Website Quote Option 1



For further reading on energy poverty and  affordable housing in Bridgewater and Nova Scotia, visit the links below: 

South Shore Housing Action Coalition: Housing Needs Assessmenthttps: //sshac.wordpress.com/housing-needs-assessment/South

Solving Nova Scotia's Electricity Pricing Problem: Energy Affordability vs Rising Electricity Prices https://ecologyaction.ca/issue-area/energy-issues-publications