Saint John Energy won the Smart Energy Communities Award in the Utility and Energy Service Providers Sector at the QUEST (Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow) Gala on November 7th, 2017 in Ottawa at their annual conference.
Saint John Energy launched their ductless heat pump rental program in February 2016 when they entered into a contract with a vendor for installation of Energy Star’s most efficient mini spilt ductless heat pumps.
“We’re really proud to offer this solution to communities in New Brunswick so they can lower their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Marta Kelly, Vice President of Finance for Saint John Energy,” when she accepted the award on behalf of the utility.
Kelly called Jennifer Coughlan, Supervisor of Consumer Products, to the stage, crediting her for doing all the legwork and administration of the program.
“We did a soft roll in January 2016. Somebody tweeted that we were doing it. CBC picked up on it and before we knew it, we had 200 calls,” said Kelly, in an interview after her acceptance. “Sixteen thousand heat pumps out the door, rented, in one year.”
The program was the first of it’s kind in Canada. It provided affordability for people who wanted the product but not the large financial outlay that ownership required.
“I was shocked,” Kelly said of their win, “because of the great projects we were up against. We want to do the solar and storage. This program exceeded our expectations and what we are hoping to do is evolve that into other areas – maybe a solar leasing program and just think outside the box and come up with energy solutions that save people money and reduce greenhouse gas.”