In 2007, District of Houston received a $225,000 grant and a $275,000 loan from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $2,400,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of District of Houston, Northern Development, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Infrastructure Canada, and Local Businesses
2012- The District of Houston has taken a major step in going green by creating a new renewable energy source in Houston. Under this project, Houston has installed a geothermal power generator that will be used to energize many of the municipality’s buildings.
The Claude Parish Memorial Arena ice plant is now serviced by a geothermal heat pump system. This allows the arena to operate year-round while it also maintains the temperature of the aquatic centre’s pools. The geothermal heat pump system is creating a positive environmental benefit through reducing green house gas emission by 124.6 tonnes annually from the arena alone.
"The new geothermal heating system reduces operating expenses, our use of natural gas, as well as our greenhouse gas emissions. We're hoping to be an example to other communities of how green design can make a big difference locally and globally."Bill Holmberg, Mayor, District of Houston
This project has created many direct and indirect economic benefits for the District of Houston. The construction work created 5,571 hours of temporary employment, the additional year-round ice that is offered in the arena will create an additional 1,000 hours of seasonal employment, and the reduction in utility costs is estimated at approximately $30,000 annually. The excess energy created from the geothermal heat pump will be sold for approximately $10,000 annually.
In this new era of 'going green', the environment is the number one priority for many Canadians. Houston is trailblazing a path that makes decisions based on combined social responsibility and economic development goals. The project helps eliminate Houston's dependence on fossil fuels by reducing by 90% the energy consumption of the community's two largest facilities.