Reduce your energy usage with Ottawa’s “Race to Retrofit” challenge

Having reached 300 gigajoules of energy per capita last year, Canadians use three times as much energy as the world average – even more than Americans. Raising eyebrows internationally, this has placed a spotlight on the necessity of implementing energy-efficient practices at home.

Locally, half of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, 60% of these emissions being tied to residential buildings (predominantly through heating). With winter coming very soon, exploring methods that reduce home energy use is vital. Random Acts of Green, along with the Ottawa Energy Collective, offer some ideas on how to reduce energy usage in our homes with the “Race to Retrofit” challenge.

The challenge – running from November 15th to the 19th – will encourage participants to complete 10 energy-related actions, such as “Install a Smart Thermostat” and “Air Dry Your Laundry.” Using Random Acts of Green’s mobile app, participants can log these actions, earn points proportional to the amount of carbon emissions reduced through their actions, and redeem those points for discounts at various businesses.

Random Acts of Green CEO Jessica Correa knows that fun challenges like this encourage and inspire people to take action. “By gamifying climate action in a fun, and approachable way, we can encourage people to make an impact – and we need people to feel empowered to do their part. As Canadians, we all need to work together to change our current energy habits, make new ones, and improve our homes to be more efficient.

“With around half of Ottawa’s carbon emissions coming from buildings and the majority of that from the residential sector, immediate action is required to reduce our collective home energy usage,” says Nathaniel Sneyd-Dewar, one of two Communication Coordinators at the Ottawa Energy Collective. His colleague, Jacob Tarasofsky, notes that, “we need to take ownership over the emissions coming from our own homes, while continuing to pressure the government and large corporations to support the transition to an energy-efficient built environment in Ottawa.”

Ottawa citizens, classrooms, and businesses are encouraged to participate in the virtual “Race to Retrofit” challenge from November 15th to 19th. By participating, you can help to increase awareness about the energy-related activities that make a real environmental impact. Random Acts of Green and the Ottawa Energy Collective have invited over 100 stakeholders to promote and participate in the challenge, including environmental groups, local businesses, green building contractors, city counsellors, and many more. Both groups hope to encourage even more participation from the Ottawa community, with the goal being to help achieve net-zero emissions from all residential buildings by 2050.

Learn more about the “Race to Retrofit” challenge. Let’s pledge to do our part in reducing our energy usage, Stittsville!


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