Top 10 Reasons to Retrofit Your Home:
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase our chances of having a livable future for the next generation
To reduce energy bills and protect yourself from the rising cost of carbon emissions through carbon tax
To increase the value of your home by keeping pace energy efficiency in new builds
To increase the value of your home by adding renewable energy (ie: solar panels or geothermal)
To become energy independent and protect against future increases in energy costs
To cut down on unnecessary utility bills (you’re paying over $150/year just to have natural gas hooked up, even if you don’t use a drop!)
To be perceived as the coolest house on the block!
To allow you to charge your (future?) electric vehicle at home, for way less than the price of gas!
To create green jobs in the community
To let local contractors and trades know that there is a demand for energy wise retrofits!
HOW CAN RETROFITS BE AFFORDABLE?
The concept is simple: Government rebates combined with bulk purchasing, planned efficiency and assured volumes for contractors without all the advertising costs means retrofits can be much more affordable than most people assume! Depending on the scale, many projects can even come in at a very similar cost to the “conventional alternative”! Ie: the cost of an air source heat pump can be close to the same cost for a high-efficiency gas furnace! We’re doing the work for you to research contractors, organize and negotiate bulk purchasing and discounted services and to assist with any questions you have along the way.
WHAT ABOUT THE OPERATIONAL COSTS OF ELECTRIFYING? EVERYONE TELLS ME IT’S CHEAPER TO HEAT WITH NATURAL GAS!
This is OLD NEWS! Get ahead of rising costs related to natural gas and electrify now while the rebates are available! Based on our analysis, many homes would find their overall energy bills would be reduced if they transitioned home heating and hot water heating from natural gas to high-efficiency electric sources right now. This equates to even more savings over the next 10 years when you factor in the rising cost of carbon tax which is going from $40/tonne to $170/tonne by 2030! Don’t believe us? Check out your natural gas bill and look for 2 numbers- the daily rate (which is around $0.42/day) and the carbon tax. Just having a gas line hooked up to your home cost over $150/year and if you consider the carbon tax you’re paying on your bill now and do the math to what that will equate to at a cost of $170/tonne, you’ll see we’re on to something here! (Not so great at converting tonnes to cubic meters and gigajoules to kilowatt hours? Don’t worry! We’ve done the preliminary math and we’re working with energy experts to confirm our analysis and we’ll provide it on this website as soon as it’s finalized! Also, by getting an energy assessment, you’ll get a detailed analysis of cost impacts of certain upgrades specific to your home and our climate which can help you make informed decisions that are right for your home and finances!)
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD ANY UPGRADES? AM I OUT OF LUCK?
NOPE! We’re working to ensure that equity in access is considered throughout this project. There are a few options to consider:
Financing- most of our participants are likely to require some form of financing. We’re still in the process of exploring low-interest financing opportunities however there are a few options already available and more innovative options being considered provincially such as Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (tied to your home title so that the loan is transferred to the next owners if you decide to sell)
Fortis BC has an excellent program for low-income households to access a large array of supports to reduce energy consumption free of charge. These upgrades may even include new appliances, furnace, insulation or other significant upgrades to homes that qualify. Check out: XXX for more info.
We’re working to build in other opportunities for those less financially flexible to access supports such as milestone targets where some services or upgrades are donated when certain milestones are reached (ie: every 50 heat-pumps installed results in a free heat-pump for someone in need). These opportunities are not confirmed but are something we are exploring right now.
DO I HAVE TO USE YOUR PREFERRED CONTRACTOR OR COMPANY?
Not necessarily although one of the benefits of participating in this project is not having to find and source your own qualified and trustworthy contractors and negotiate a deal on your own. By joining with others, discounts are likely to be greater, especially when you can convince others in your neighbourhood to participate! If you have been working with a contractor you love and think they’d be a great fit, refer them to be a partner with us!