Rebates allow Feed Nova Scotia to provide 24,000 meals
Operating since 1984, Feed Nova Scotia distributes food to a network of 140 food banks, shelters, and meal programs across the province while advocating for policy-based solutions to food insecurity. Now, the organization is extending its commitment to the community by reducing their carbon footprint and reinvesting the energy savings into their programs.
In 2021, Feed Nova Scotia was approached by ThermalWise—an Efficiency Preferred Partner—to look at all the ways they could cut down on their energy usage. ThermalWise conducted a full scan of the Feed Nova Scotia facilities and helped the organization connect with Efficiency Nova Scotia to save even more.
Feed Nova Scotia changed out all the old fluorescent lighting in their 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse for energy efficient LED lighting. They also added occupancy sensors to rooms that weren’t used as often, to help cut down on wasted energy.
“We didn’t realize how much energy savings there was, so for ThermalWise to present that to us was a real eye opener,” says Kristi Harris of Feed Nova Scotia.
Feed Nova Scotia received a $16,000 rebate through Efficiency Nova Scotia, which made the upgrades possible. Those upgrades have also led to $4,000 in annual energy savings. And that money is going right back into the community.
“For every two dollars that we spend, we can distribute enough food for three meals. So, you have allowed us to provide 24,000 meals’ worth of food to be distributed,” says Karen Theriault of Feed Nova Scotia. “When you look at how many people are being supported through that network, that is a really big impact.”
Today, this impact is more important than ever. Over the past year, the number of Nova Scotians in need of support from Feed Nova Scotia’s member food banks has increased by 27%. And, often, people who are dealing with food insecurity are also struggling with affordable housing, energy poverty, and more.
“Feed Nova Scotia is about more than just distributing food for today. The issue does not lie in the shortage of food, but in inadequate income and affordability,” says Karen Theriault. “The money that we save also fuels our efforts to fight for policy changes to ensure things like adequate wages and income assistance rates, affordable housing, and reduced out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.”
Although energy efficiency projects can feel overwhelming for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, working with experienced and trusted partners like ThermalWise and Efficiency Nova Scotia can make practically anything feel manageable and achievable.
“I would definitely encourage people to look into it. What might feel like small things —like lightbulbs and occupancy sensors — make a big impact,” says Kristi Harris.
Energy Savings at a Glance:
Yearly kWh Savings: 47,000
Annual Energy Cost Savings: $4,000
Total Rebate: $16,000