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Two sessions in Norwich and Tillsonburg are designed to teach residents to green their homes and achieve net zero consumption

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Jay Heaman (Sentinel-Review file photo)

Jay Heaman (Sentinel-Review file photo)

For years renewable energy products have only been available to the wealthy, but that may be coming to an end according to one local expert.

“That’s starting to change but it’s not something that is going to happen overnight,” said Jay Heaman, Oxford County’s manager of strategic initiatives. “There is still a lot of work to do to make it cost effective so the installations are something everyone can afford.”

Local residents will be able to learn how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and learn more about renewable energy sources in two upcoming sessions in Tillsonburg and Norwich.

The two sessions will be followed next year by 10 more across the county on various subjects.

The affordability issue is part of the reason for the sessions, Heaman said.

With the price steadily dropping on renewable energy installations such as solar panels, achieving net zero is becoming more of reality for local residents.

“It’s not to suggest we’ve figured out how to do all this yet,” Heaman said. “We want to get people out to talk about it.”

Achieving net zero, he said, is about “optimizing the grid.”

“If we can all learn what our consumption habits are and figure out how to generate the amount of electricity we need over the course of a year, you can quite easily net zero your consumption,” he said. “But this has to be available to everyone regardless of their income.”

If you go

Where: Norwich Public Library, 10 Tidey St.

When: Thursday Nov. 2, 3 to 5 p.m. drop-in session, 6:30 to 8 p.m., presentation and discussion

Where: Tillsonburg Public Library, 2 Library Lane

When: Tuesday, Nov 7, 3 to 5 p.m. drop-in session, 6:30 to 8 p.m., presentation and discussion

HRivers@postmedia.com