With the re-instatement and expansion of the very successful LiveSmart program, the BC government is encouraging homeowners to upgrade their existing low-efficiency heating systems, insulation and windows, to name just a few. The full range of incentives are listed on their website.
An energy audit conducted prior to beginning the work gives a baseline. This inexpensive assessment involves a thorough inspection of the house as well as a blower-door test to measure air leakage, and can be booked through an approved energy auditor (see links below). After the work has been performed, another energy audit is done and the resulting information is submitted for rebates.
City Green http://www.citygreen.ca/
Both websites contain tons of useful tips on simple improvements that we can all make to help our homes become more energy efficient.
Many of the upgrades will have a short to medium payback period, especially considering the rebate, and after that time the savings go directly into the homeowner’s pocket. With increasing energy costs, and a significant rebate package available, now is a great time to retrofit your home!
In addition to the program discussed above, check out BC Hydro for rebates on lighting, appliances and more at http://www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/
Interesting facts: the average home built in Canada between 1960 and 1990 has an EnerGuide Rating* of 55 – 65; in Oak Bay it’s 47, with the average new home coming in at about 77. The new building code, which will come out in 2012, will require all new homes to meet EnerGuide 80, with more aggressive improvements slated for future building code updates.
*The EnerGuide for Houses (EGH) Rating is determined by a software program that assesses the energy efficiency performance of the whole home.