The Halalt First Nation community is located near Chemainus BC, on the lower Chemainus River. The Halalt originate from the village of xeláltxw, meaning ‘marked houses’ or ‘painted houses’. The village was once located where the silver bridge crossed the Cowichan River in Duncan.
In 2017, Barkley Project Group began the process of developing a CEP with Halalt First Nation as a first step toward identifying energy opportunities, with a focus on reducing energy bills. The CEP identified several concrete opportunities to reduce electrical consumption including installing high efficiency air-source heat pumps in homes and solar energy generation systems to offset the consumption of community buildings.
Since the CEP was completed, BPG has worked with Halalt to undertake a series of implementation measures that have contributed substantially to the objectives described in the CEP and make Halalt a noteworthy example of the power of community energy planning. A 30 kW solar array was installed on the roof of the community school, and three consecutive phases of heat pump installations in residential homes have been carried out between 2018 and 2022. By the end of the current phase of work, all homes in the community will have received a new air source heat pump that improves home comfort with lower electrical consumption and costs.
This project has received support from the Province of BC, the Fraser Basin Council, the New Relationship Trust, Indigenous Services Canada, Clean BC, and BC Hydro.