The folks at a Chilliwack cat shelter are raising money to buy solar panels and heat pumps in order to lower the facility’s utility bills.
A GoFundMe campaign called ‘Let’s Cool those Cats!’ has been set up for Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven with a goal of raising $42,000.
“We want to become as energy efficient as possible because our current set up is very costly on the utilities side,” said Katherine Lemond, president of the safe haven. “We have 16 exterior units that are heated with baseboards. We also do up to six loads of laundry a day. And with the last two summers of higher temperatures, we had a lot of electric fans running.”
In the last year alone, prior to this heat wave, their hydro bill increased by 20 per cent and their gas bills went up as well, Lemond said.
Their proposed solution is to have solar panels installed on one of the barns which could decrease hydro bills by half. They also plan to remove the 16 baseboards and install heat pumps in each of the four exterior buildings, which would provide both heating and cooling.
The total cost would be $84,000.
Lemond said they have applied for a B.C. Capital Project Grant which, if approved, would cover half the cost. They they are now currently raising money toward the other half.
“The grant does stipulate that you already have the other half covered, which would mean using our emergency reserves. That’s not ideal but the health and welfare of the cats is our priority. Anything we raise will offset using the emergency funds.”
Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven is bursting at the seams with surrendered and stray cats.
“We have more than 100 kittens in our care right now (some at the shelter and some with fosters) and it doesn’t seem to be letting up,” said shelter manager Christy Moschopedis. “This is one of the worst kitten seasons I’ve seen in my years of catting in Chilliwack. The shelter is packed and we are having to triage our surrender list and intake requests. We are struggling to keep up.”
Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven is having an open house on Sunday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shelter is located at 49843 Chilliwack Central Rd.
To donate to the GoFundMe, go to gofund.me/9b54773e.