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North Coast homes, stock image, Ecotrust Canada (2021)

How to support more home energy renovations on the North Island

North Coast homes, stock image, Ecotrust Canada (2021)

Energy bill savings, home comfort, and health

People on the North Island face especially high electricity costs and we’ve heard from many who struggle to pay those bills. Problems with mould, bad air quality, and homes that are draughty, too cold in winter, or too hot in summer are common, taking a toll on people’s health. Money is available for home renovations (for example installing heat pumps or improving building insulation) to address these problems, reduce energy consumption, and save on costs.

Heat pumps are an example of a home energy renovation that can save people thousands on utility bills every year, while making a home much more comfortable. Check out this video to find out how heat pumps are helping Haíłzaqv Nation households in Bella Bella, and read this blog “Heat pumps keep you cool too” to learn more. There are other renovations that can make a big difference too with — draught proofing, better doors and windows, insulation, energy-efficient equipment, etc.

However, many people still find it hard to make these renovations. That is why Ecotrust Canada and the Mount Waddington Regional District are engaging with local communities about a possible program to help residents make these valuable renovations.

We are talking to:
  • Local First Nations, municipalities and unincorporated community/area representatives and staff
  • Local contractors (e.g. HVAC, insulation) & Energy Advisors
  • Local service/community/nonprofit organizations dealing with related issues such as housing, health, energy, climate, and poverty.
The questions we are looking to answer include:
  • What is currently keeping people from making home energy renovations?
  • What program could be put in place to support the region in overcoming these barriers?
  • How could such a program be made as inclusive, accessible, and simple as possible?

Answering these questions could lead to a district-wide program that makes it easier for residents to make home energy renovations.

How to get involved: Email if you or someone you know are interested in sharing your experience or joining a series of discussions we’ll be hosting in-person and online between September-November 2021.

Regional District of Mount Waddington, B.C. August 6, 2021

Originally published in Mount Waddington Health Network