New Westminster offering home-energy assessments

The City of New Westminster is offering 100 free home-energy assessments to local residents on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The City of New Westminster is offering 100 free home-energy assessments to local residents on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In partnership with B.C. Hydro and FortisBC, the city is launching the Energy Save New West program this month. The program is designed to improve the energy efficiency of low-rise residential homes in New Westminster and make it easier for homeowners to access incentives available through LiveSmart BC, as well as specific heating, lighting and appliance rebates provided by FortisBC and BC Hydro.

"Energy Save New West is a key step in achieving the energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals in the city's Community Energy and Emissions Plan," Mayor Wayne Wright said in a press release. "Our goal is to have 200 homeowners registered in the program at the end of 12 months, with 100 homes having completed the initial energy assessment and proceeding with energy upgrades and improvements to their homes."

According to the city, the process begins with an initial energy assessment of a home. Energy Save will provide a certified energy advisor (City Green Solutions) to all registered homeowners, and the energy advisor will schedule a convenient time to conduct the assessment according to provincial and federal guidelines.

"Energy Save New West covers the cost of a detailed energy assessment conducted by a certified energy advisor, which would normally be paid for by the homeowner," said Norm Connolly, the city's community energy manager. "The program is designed to make it easy for homeowners to get a comprehensive energy picture of their home, as well as cost-effective strategies to improve energy efficiency."

New Westminster resident Nicole Pryor is happy to see this initiative underway in New Westminster. When she purchased her 1930 Craftsman-style bungalow in 2011, the previous owner had already made some energy improvements such as a hot water on-demand system, external heat pump, and energy efficient windows.

"I would like to know more about my home from an energy perspective, and I like the idea of having an energy assessment done so that I have a complete plan for my home, and can see what improvements could be made and what the cost savings would be over time," she said in a press release. "It's the right thing to do from an environmental perspective, and I would like to teach my son these things as we improve our home."

These discounts (valued at $300 per home) are being provided by the City of New Westminster, program sponsors and City Green Solutions for a limited period of time.

Connolly said the energy assessment rebate program applies to single-detached and duplex homes, as well as freehold townhouses and attached row homes.

"The low-rise residential component of the Energy Save New West initiative is being launched first. This will be followed by the launch of a similar energy-efficiency program geared toward businesses, which we have earmarked for the end of July. This program will also offer free energy audits to local businesses that apply," he said in an email to The Record. "We are currently in the planning stages of creating a pilot program to improve energy efficiency in multi-residential buildings. This is an important part of the housing market for New Westminster, and we hope to launch this part of the program in the fall."

Anyone wanting to sign up for the program and take advantage of the free energy assessment offer, can register online at energysavenewwest.ca or at 604-527-4572.

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