Weatherizing Your Home for Winter Workshop
At last week’s Cool Drinks event, BJ Meyer of BC Hydro opened the evening by introducing several energy conservation programs and tools offered by BC Hydro to help consumers decrease energy use and ultimately save some money. Presently, the following sources account for home energy use:
- Heating – 50%
- Appliances – 20%
- Lighting – 16%
- Other – 14%
In order to lower energy consumption from these different sources, BC Hydro offers several incentive programs. Home energy rebate offers reimburse home owners up to $6,000 for upgrades made to insulation (max. $3,250), ventilation (max. $50), heating (e.g. $800 for heat pumps), and draft proofing (max. $500). In addition, rebates are provided on LED lights ($10-30), outdoor lighting timers ($2-5), and Energy Star energy efficient home appliances ($50-100). BC Hydro also encourages Energuide home evaluations. With this program, home owners can learn the energy rating of their home from a certified Energy Advisor (advisor contacts available on Natural Resources Canada website). Following energy upgrades, the advisor returns for a post evaluation. Beyond these incentive programs, BC Hydro recommends other valuable tips to conserve energy. For additional information, follow this link –
To track existing energy use in their homes, BC residents can currently log in to My Hydro on BC Hydro’s website to view usage on an hour by hour and day by day basis. Comparisons can be made to other households in their neighborhoods and to previous years. In addition to this tool, citizens can purchase Home Energy monitors, which provide energy use in real time including kilowatt hours and dollars. By understanding usage, residents can more easily modify their energy consumption levels.
Following BJ’s presentation, BJ plus Warren McKay and Kevin Welsh from Cool North Shore hosted practical demonstrations on how to limit heat loss this winter from homes in order to enhance comfort and lower energy bills. Participants learned where air leaks through cracks and gaps in the sides of windows and doors from a model house and thermal imaging system, how to effectively caulk doors and windows, and how to reduce drafts through light switches and doors by using different insulation devices. A building contractor, David Adair of Blackfish Homes, was also present to explain how to find a competent contractor since BC does not have an accreditation program for weatherization contractors.
The event was hosted in North Vancouver at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, a home décor and building supply store that sells donated new and gently used household items at great value. It can be an excellent source of materials and goods for home renovation projects.