With temperatures rising, Charlie Gehr and Holly Norberg are contemplating sleeping outdoors at their 90-year-old Rosemont house. It’s just too hot inside.
Gehr, who’s owned his home for two and a half years, is hoping that a recent heat-loss assessment of the building from Nelson’s EcoSave program will give him some insight on how to better insulate against the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter, and ultimately cut down on energy costs. He first discovered the energy wastes when he saw an aerial heatmap of his home.
Last October, Nelson paid $35,000 to Alberta-based company MyHeat to conduct nighttime aerial thermal imaging of the city’s houses to track individual buildings’ heat loss. The interactive map shows roofs ranging from dark blue (little-to-no heat loss), to dark red, (high heat loss).
The online tool is free to use for a year and is accessible at www.myheat.ca/nelson. A user can search for their address to view detailed thermal images of their home’s roof.
EcoSave Program manager Carmen Proctor said that the contract with MyHeat was to analyse residential buildings, so places like City Hall, schools and businesses do not appear on the map.
City officials are hoping that by actually seeing how much energy they’re losing, residents will take steps to save on electricity and natural gas costs.
The heatmap is just step one. Proctor is hoping that residents will sign up for an energy loss assessment and take advantage of Nelson Hydro and Fortis BC’s rebate programs.
The initial EcoSave assessment is currently discounted at 50 per cent off ($375 savings) and involves having a certified energy advisor visit your home to conduct draft tests and evaluate the efficiencies of things like windows, doors and water heaters.
Homeowners interested in the service are advised to register soon because the discount is only offered to residents who register within a “limited time.” The promotion has not been given a specific end date.
The city is hosting an information night on June 6 at 7 pm at the Adventure Hotel where residents can learn more about how to use the heat map and EcoSave’s energy assessment service and rebates to better insulate their homes.