East Kootenay takes a bite out of Energy Diet

Dozens of homeowners have signed up for the incentive-laden energy efficiency program

  • Jan. 14, 2014 7:00 a.m.

More than 200 East Kootenay homeowners have signed up for a program that will help them  cut energy costs.

The East Kootenay Energy Diet launched in July. Since then, 221 residents of the East Kootenay have signed up for the program, including 28 in Cranbrook, 32 in Kimberley and 83 in the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).

“The biggest area of success is in the electoral areas of the RDEK,” said community energy manager Megan Lohmann. “We targeted about 50 assessments, knowing that it is sometimes difficult to get a reach in rural areas. As of Jan. 6 there were 83 residences signed up to the program and 80 that followed through with actually registering for their assessments.”

Lohmann presented an update on the Energy Diet to the RDEK board of directors on Friday, Jan. 10.

The East Kootenay Energy Diet is a collaboration of the RDEK, Columbia Basin Trust, BC Hydro and FortisBC.

It allows homeowners to access low-cost home energy assessments, connect with a certified energy advisor, understand what retrofits best suit their home, and identify local contractors.

There are incentives and rebates available for participating residents who take steps to improve their home’s energy efficiency and make energy cost savings.

The Regional District of East Kootenay offered incentives for the first 75 homeowners to take part in the Energy Diet, including a $50 incentive for a pre-retrofit assessment.

“This product will represent a unique opportunity for the residents of the electoral areas and they certainly appreciated the support that the RDEK provided to make this an accessible program for them,” said Lohmann.

The City of Kimberley offers a $50 incentive for a pre and post retrofit assessment. Cranbrook did not offer incentives for homeowners to participate.

“Across the board, for residents in communities for which there were subsidies offered, people were generally more motivated to participate,” said Lohmann.

Now she hopes that those who had a home assessment done will start taking action to make their homes more energy efficient.

“We’d really like to see implementation of the retrofits. We’d like to see 150 homes actually taking action. We will be following up with each registrant, reviewing their energy report and helping them prioritize which actions best suit their situation,” said Lohmann.

To find out more about the East Kootenay Energy Diet, visit www.eked.ca or phone 250-423-7212.