Our Homes

Here is a printable PDF One-sider:

The oil and gas we use to heat our buildings produces almost a third of Nanaimo’s climate pollution. If your home uses a gas or oil furnace, how can you keep warm in a way that will not harm nature or our children’s future?

  1. Make your home more efficient so that it needs less energy.
  2. Install a heat pump, which will channel heat into your home from the outside to keep you cosy and warm. In summer, it can channel warm air out of your home, to keep you cool.

Various local businesses can help with these tasks. They will both cost you, but there are many government and utility grants and rebates to reduce the cost, since eliminating our climate pollution is considered to be so important.

Better Homes Grants and Rebates

The BC government’s Better Homes website has all the details. Here is a sampling of the available grants if your home is heated by oil or gas:

  • An Energuide home evaluation, to see what might be needed – $200
  • Insulation – up to $5,500
  • A heat hump – up to $3,000
  • A Zero Interest loan – up to $40,000
  • An upgrade of your electrical service – $500
  • An electric heat-pump water heater – $1,000
  • More efficient windows and doors – $50 to $100 each
  • A 25% refund on your home mortgage insurance once you have improved your home’s efficiency

If you live in the Regional District of Nanaimo, you can also apply for these additional grants:

  • Heat pump top-up grant – $350
  • Heat pump water heater top-up grant – $350
  • Energuide pre-upgrade home evaluation rebate – up to $350
  • Low income households: free energy saving kit and energy conservation assistance
  • Overall home efficiency improvement – $750 to $2,000
  • Two or more energy upgrade initiatives – $300

You can also get free advice about all this from an Energy Coach

An Energuide Home Energy Evaluator will tell you how much your home is leaking, letting in cold air and making it more expensive to heat, and she or he will recommend the steps you can take to reduce the leakage. To learn what this involves and what it costs contact City Green, based in Victoria. The image below shows a red “blower door” in use by an Energuide evaluator.

And here is a great information sheet from Squamish:

Solar Panels

In British Columbia our electricity is 100% renewable from hydro, wind and solar, and BC Hydro is currently producing more power than we need, so while an investment in solar panels makes good financial sense, it will not reduce your climate pollution.

As soon as the whole province begins to act on the climate emergency, solar power will be needed to help power all the electric cars and heat pumps. For an in-depth analysis of how much power will be needed to support BC with 100% renewable energy, tuck into this submission by Guy Dauncey to the BCUC: https://www.bcuc.com/Documents/wp-content/09/DOC_90070_F62-1_Dauncey-G_Site-C-Submission.pdf

To get a quote, call a local solar company. There are no grants available.

Published by Guy Dauncey

I am a speaker, author, activist and futurist who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future and to translate that vision into action. I am founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, co-founder of the Victoria Car Share Cooperative, and the author or co-author of nine books, including the award-winning books Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic and The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming. My latest book is 'Journey to the Future: A Better World Is Possible' (December 2015). www.journeytothefuture.ca For my sins, I am also an Honorary Member of the Planning Institute of BC, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, and a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. My main website is www.thepracticalutopian.ca.com. I live at Yellow Point, near Ladysmith, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

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