There is a movement on the go to set up a provincewide renewable energy group to promote reducing the Island's carbon footprint and making the environment safer.
Tracey Allen was in Summerside Thanksgiving Day, and in co-operation with the City of Summerside, hosted a discussion group on what needs to be done to make this initiative take hold.
Allen is looking to establish a volunteer group of people involved in renewable energy projects along with members of the public to find better ways to meet Islanders' energy needs.
It's a good plan and one whose time has come.
For many, the thought of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass and others, are being used to power systems that are available now.
There is a need for the public to understand that renewable energy projects are not science fiction but are here today and will not only help the environment but also save them money.
Education will play an important role in the public's support for an Island-wide renewable energy program.
Those within the industry talk their own language. They live and understand it. But most Islanders have difficulty getting their heads around costs per kilowatt-hour, smart grids, solar panels and all of the other intricacies of renewable energy projects.
But the one point that all Islanders can understand is saving money as well as the environment.
Allen summed this feeling up when she said, "People don't want to talk kilowatts. They want to talk dollars and cents. What does it mean to me?"
One clear example of this is the City of Summerside's Heat for Less program. It offers Summerside utility customers a guaranteed electrical rate of eight cents per kilowatt-hour for a five-year period.
The average person would say, "What does that mean for me?"
Municipal services director, Greg Gaudet, said this computes to paying 69 cents for a litre of oil. He said at today's oil prices, the city's program is offering a 30 per cent savings on current home heating costs.
Those are the types of explanations that the public needs to hear.
The other priority issue for making this whole idea work is the co-operation of the municipal, provincial and federal governments in developing policies that promote and support a renewable energy plan.
A strong point for the committee Allen is looking to establish is that it will be all volunteer - a true grassroots movement that will work for change from the bottom up rather than a government funded operation that takes its direction from the top down.