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ICE Network CoLab Summary: Advancing BioEnergy with High-Efficiency Wood Stoves | Bioenergy

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ICE Network CoLab Summary:  Advancing BioEnergy with High-Efficiency Wood Stoves

ICE Network CoLab Summary: Advancing BioEnergy with High-Efficiency Wood Stoves

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CoLab Team        


 From left to right: Darrell Brown (Cree Entrepreneur),Neil Hawkes (Government of Nunatsiavut), Mike Tilson (Chu Cho Environmental LLC), and Kyla Morriseau (Aniimbiigoo Zaag’iging Anishnabek),

Wood Heating – Where are We Now?

Through years of research and the development of it’s national Indigenous capacity-building programming, the team at ICE Social Enterprise collected impactful feedback about wood heating and came to these conclusions:

  • The cost of electricity and heating is a burden for many Indigenous families and communities across Canada; and these rising costs are a strain on household and community budgets.
  • The situation is compounded by the fact that many homes and community facilities are substandard and energy inefficient. The situation in remote and northern communities can be even more dire.
  • The lack of access to affordable power and heat is a reality for a large majority of Indigenous households and communities and comes with negative health, environmental and economic consequences.


Our CoLab host, Kyla, shared images of some of the wood stoves that are found in the AZA community. Kyla reflected that she has seen first-hand how many people in her community are affected by respiratory health problems and she wonders how much impact current heating practices are having on the health of the people in her community.

“What we're finding in remote communities is there's a challenge where the local wood supply is now further and further away from the community and there becomes a competitive marketplace where a lot of the older people who can't, or who are not fortunate enough to have either snow machines or other ways to get out into the bush to be able to harvest the wood, are seeing themselves at a  disadvantage. For a lot of young families, it becomes a challenge as well for some of the some of the young mothers that are out there raising their families to be unable to get out there on the land.”
- Jason Rasevych, Ontario Works Program

High-Efficiency Wood Stoves in Nunatsiavut

  • In 2012, a survey of 44 homes showed that only 5 were adequately heated and that 55% of those homes preferred to heat with wood stoves.
  • The Nunatsiavut Energy Security plan was aligned with the concept of upgrading new heating appliances in low-income Indigenous households.
  • In 2016, 50 new high-efficiency wood stoves were installed, manufactured by Blaze King. Now in 2019, there are 90 more wood stoves ordered for installation once the shipping season opens and the stoves can be delivered.
  • Neil’s Key Learning: the pilot project and a housing needs assessment provided valuable information that made subsequent funding applications more compelling because the needs were quantified and not theoretical.

Health Canada and The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario will release the results of a study that I have been working on with themon in remote Indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario. The study looks to determine why children there, who are under three years in age, are four times more likely to develop colds and lung issues. The team is looking at air quality impacts from wood stoves and there is a hypothesis that wood stoves are a main culprit.   
- Gail Lawlor, President, Energy Matters

The Indigenous Energy Efficient Equipment (I3E) Initiative

The Indigenous energy efficient equipment (I3E) social enterprise was created in 2018 by a group of 20/20 Catalyst alumni as a cross-country group purchasing entity for installing affordable healthy and reliable clean energy equipment. IE3 will be a for-profit social enterprise owned by First Nation Communities who will benefit from utilizing IE3. It would include energy efficient stoves, heat pumps, radiant heat boilers, advanced lighting, energy efficient appliances, water efficient fixtures, etc.

Hubs of distribution would be established in each geographical location across the country as strategic points based on demand and established freight routes. Remote First Nation Communities will become member-owners and place orders based on community needs, and the goal is that bulk buying will realize an average of 10-15% on energy efficient equipment.

CoLab Attendees:

Conrad Baumgartner, Kimberley Brown, Daniel Brown, Megan Brunton, Claire Cameron, Leon Cardinal, John Carr, Moah Christensen, Shawn Davison, Ryan Dick, Lise Dolen, Bruno Gagnon, Scott Henderson, Chris Henderson, Darryl Hill, Jeff Hiller, David Jeremiah, John Jeza, Roland Kemuksigak, Cody King-Poole, Albert Klyne, Jeff Knapp, Meaghan Langille, Gail Lawlor, Martha Lenio, Lucy MacDonald, Daniel Martineau, Corey Mattie, Scott Miller, Sultana Molla, Tooma Natsiq, Mitchell Niles, John OLSEN, Etienne Patenaude, Jean-Philippe Poirier, Julia Purdy, Jason Rasevych, Cara Sanders, Mike Shanks, Melanie St-Georges, Jay Storfer, Aaron Taylor, Amy Tuck, Suneet Tuli, Jennifer Tuthill, Stefan Tylak, Jarno Valkeapaa, Rae-Anna Whiteduck, Darren Allen, Sam Arkia, Jean Schiettekatte

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