July 30, 2013

COMMUNITY AND DIGNITARIES LAUNCH EAST KOOTENAY ENERGY DIET

Sign up for Savings

Energy Diet Funders_Fortis RDEK BCH Bennett Lohmann CBT

(CRANBROOK) On Friday July 26, the East Kootenay Energy Diet was officially launched in Cranbrook with dignitaries and community members enjoying the good weather and a barbeque lunch. Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski welcomed the crowd on behalf of the City, and representatives from FortisBC, BC Hydro, Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional District of East Kootenay all spoke to their support of the initiative.
Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett officially kicked off the event, and confirmed the Province’s support for innovative approaches to saving energy. “The BC Clean Energy Act emphasizes the need for energy conservation. The East Kootenay Energy Diet is a perfect example of an initiative that directly supports the policy direction of the Act, while also helping residents realize cost savings on their energy bills.”
Community-specific launches are planned this fall in Fernie, Sparwood, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Invermere, and Radium Hot Springs. The RDEK, Sparwood and Fernie are the first local governments to confirm that they will provide a $50 discount on an energy assessment to the first fifty people who sign up for the East Kootenay Energy Diet in their communities. Further to that, Fernie and Sparwood will be subsidizing post-retrofit assessment, which have a value of $150.
This means that early birds get a detailed energy assessment and savings recommendations for their home for as little as $40! In combination with an incentive from LiveSmart BC, this is a substantial savings from the typical $300 cost for a home energy assessment. Len Luders of Fairmont Hot Springs was the first registrant for the East Kootenay Energy Diet: “We have been thinking of doing an energy assessment for some time. The timing of the Energy Diet is perfect! We look forward to learning how we can improve the efficiency of our home.” By receiving this initial assessment, homeowners will have access to a variety of incentives and rebates to help implement the recommendations.
Mayor Giuliano of Fernie explained: “We are committed to saving energy and money. We’ve reduced energy consumption in our own municipal operations and have realized significant savings as a result. Now it is time to help our citizens do the same”.
You can sign up now for the East Kootenay Energy Diet and be eligible for the early-bird discount at www.eked.ca.
When it comes to doing home improvements to achieve energy efficiency, local branches of the East Kootenay Community Credit Union and Kootenay Savings Credit Union will be offering a loan product exclusive to Energy Diet participants, to help overcome financial barriers to performing energy retrofits. Details of this offer will be provided by the Credit Unions this fall. East Kootenay businesses, trades and services will be promoted over the course of the initiative, encouraging residents to ‘shop local’ when completing retrofits.
The East Kootenay Energy Diet is being led by the Community Energy Manager, a shared resource for the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and member municipalities. This collaborative approach is being piloted by BC Hydro in the RDEK with funding support from the RDEK, Columbia Basin Trust, BC Hydro and Fortis BC. The collaborative approach builds on the success of programs such as WaterSmart and Carbon Neutral Kootenays.
The Energy Diet is: a program to enable residents to have an energy assessment of their home, complete energy efficiency upgrades, and access various rebates and subsidies for the assessment and renovations performed.
How it works: First, Sign Up! After signing up for the East Kootenay Energy Diet, residents will be contacted to get a bit of information about their home. Next, an energy assessment of the home will be scheduled at a convenient time and discounted rate. As a bonus, the energy expert will also provide energy saving products at the time of the assessment. Follow up support is available to connect with local tradespeople to complete selected energy saving upgrades. Advice on grants and low-cost loans through local credit unions will also be provided.
Additional support is available for low-income households. The Energy Diet is available to help low-income home owners or renters access either a simple ‘do-it-yourself’ retrofit kit, or a more comprehensive assessment and retrofit provided by BC Hydro and FortisBC. The Energy Diet program will help to promote and support participation in this program.
The East Kootenay Energy Diet is delivered by Community Energy Association and is made possible by funding from BC Hydro, Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of East Kootenay, and FortisBC, as well as partnerships with LiveSmart BC, East Kootenay Community Credit Union and Kootenay Savings Credit Union.

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For more information about the East Kootenay Energy Diet, or the Community Energy Manager position, please contact Megan Lohmann at info@eked.ca, or 250.531.0690. www.eked.ca

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