Dartmouth shopping centre Mic Mac Mall is among the new customers of an Ontario-based company bringing renewable electricity to Nova Scotia.
Bullfrog Power gets its electricity from wind and hydro projects in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The power is sent through the regional grid.
Mic Mac Mall is owned by a real estate company already using Bullfrog in Ontario. Starting next month, the heat and lights in the mall's corridors and food court will be powered by Bullfrog.
"It's a premium of two cents a kilowatt hour that we'll be paying for this," said mall manager Terry Harvie. "Fifty per cent of our common areas will be … clean power."
The mall will receive one bill from Bullfrog and another from Nova Scotia Power.
Harvie said using another power company is more than just good public relations.
"I wouldn't call it a ploy. Our retailers and ourselves are concerned about the environment," he said. "We've replaced our air conditioning plant that used to use Freon and a tremendous amount of energy."
Bank hops on, too
Of the mall's 200 stores and tenants, only the Bank of Montreal has signed on to buy power from Bullfrog. BMO Financial Group announced last week that all of its 64 facilities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. are now customers.
Bullfrog president Tom Heintzman hopes one day his company will be allowed to sell green power produced in Nova Scotia to Nova Scotians.
"It's demonstrated in the U.S. and the rest of Canada that if a lot of citizens put up their hands and say we're prepared to buy renewable power, then that can then fund and cause more renewable power to be built," said Heintzman.
Lil MacPherson, a downtown Halifax restaurateur, believes the extra cost is worth it, though it means she'll pay an additional $300 a month.
"We're basically doing this for our children. We're in a major climate crisis right now and we need to start doing something," said MacPherson, owner of the Wooden Monkey.