Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Retrofitting (14)

Home Energy 101 course offered online

GCNews / March 2016

REEP Energy CoachREEP GREEN Solutions is offering a free online course on how to make your home more energy efficient.

Through a series of interactive videos and blog posts, the course walks homeowners through steps to make their homes more comfortable, save money, and help slow climate change.

The first lesson provides an overview of the systems and components that influence home energy use. Subsequent lessons cover topics such as:

  • attic, basement, and wall insulation
  • moisture in basements
  • choosing windows
  • deciding whether you need a new furnace
  • reducing hot water use and heating water more efficiently.

Home Assistance Program offers free home energy upgrades

Fridge on dollyYour local hydro company [Hydro One in Brockville and area] and the IESO (Independent Electricity Systems Operator) have joined together under the HOME ASSISTANCE program to help Ontario homeowners and tenants make their homes more energy efficient. The HOME ASSISTANCE Program (HAP) provides income-eligible homeowners, residents and tenants with free energy upgrades in their home. HAP helps homeowners reduce their energy bills by replacing old and inefficient equipment with new equipment that uses less electricity.

The upgrades are free and GreenSaver provides the installation at no cost to you.

Free upgrades could include:

  • Energy-saving light bulbs
  • ENERGY STAR® refrigerators
  • ENERGY STAR® freezers, dehumidifiers, window air-conditioners
  • Home insulation and draft proofing
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Powerbars
  • Faucet aerators


Metal roofing pros and cons

Mother Earth News / Cathy J. Flamholtz / March/April 1984

metal-roofing-pros-and-consLearn about these metal roofing pros and cons before repairing your roof. If properly maintained, metal roofs don’t have to be eyesores. Understand metal roofing pros and cons, and spot “tin tops” on just about every style and size of building around. For example, painted steel “shingles” on a beautiful older house.


Doing more with less

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 10 November 2014

Ontario electrical demandFirst the good news: Demand for electricity has been steadily falling in Ontario since 2005 despite a growing economy.

The province is now producing 21% more goods and services for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed than it was in 2005. Since the depths of the 2008-09 recession our economy has steadily recovered while electricity demand has remained largely flat. Better technology such as LED lighting, computerized pumps and motors that adjust to workloads, and more efficient computer data centres are examples of the technologies driving this trend.

But there is bad news: Ontario continues to under invest in this low cost source of energy and remains fixated on spending tens of billions of dollars to re-build increasingly unnecessary nuclear reactors. For every dollar the province has budgeted for energy conservation efforts in the next six years, it plans to spend at least $5.40 on re-building the Darlington Nuclear Station.

[ more… ]

Schools: Improve your energy grade with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

NRCan / Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency Newsletter VOLUME 1, Issue 5

School districts in Canada stand to save millions in energy costs – money that could be reinvested in school programs. And the good news is that ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can help make it happen. With the free, online energy management tool facility managers can benchmark energy and water consumption across an entire portfolio of buildings.

Benchmarking can help school districts determine the impact of energy-saving projects and budget future energy costs accordingly. Once 12 consecutive months of energy data have been collected, benchmarking is quick and easy. It requires only a few minutes a month and provides many valuable results. NRCan offers a variety of tools and resources to help get you started.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager earns top marks for schools in the United States

School districts have been using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in the United States for many years. The following are a few examples of what can be achieved with the benchmarking tool:

Contrary to what skeptics think, reducing energy consumption does not compromise student education. “We don’t teach in the dark”, says Eric Hamilton, director of buildings and grounds with the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools in Buffalo, Minnesota. “We just have a dark room when we leave.” The school district has avoided about US$13 million in energy costs over the last 10 years since it started working with ENERGY STAR. Another U.S. school district in North Carolina, which consists of 32 facilities, avoided US$8.1 million in energy costs over the past eight years, while the St. Tammany Parish Public School District in Louisiana avoided more than US$11 million in energy costs between 2005 and 2012.


Toronto Launches Innovative Energy Retrofit Financing Program

Ecology Ottawa / Roger Peters / 26 January 2014

Last week, the City of Toronto launched its innovative new Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). This financing program is unique in Canada in that loan payments to the City can be made over a period of up to 15 years as a special (local improvement) charge indicated on the property tax bill. There are many advantages of this approach. HELP allows homeowners to avoid the large upfront cost of home energy improvements and pay for them over time. If the property is sold before the loan is repaid, the new owner will assume the balance of the loan and continue to repay it through the property tax bill. In many cases, the loan payments will be less than the energy savings obtained, giving homeowners immediate relief on their energy bills.

The program is initially being offered in four areas of the city – Black Creek, Toronto Centre/Riverdale/Beaches, Junction/High Park, and South Scarborough. Additional areas will be added during the three year pilot. The City is also allocating $10 million of financing for multi-unit housing as part of its Tower Renewal program.

A wide cross section of Ottawa stakeholders including Ecology Ottawa has been encouraging the City of Ottawa to offer the same type of financing program to homeowners and multi-unit buildings. See the latest letter to Mayor and Council here, and also check out our Promising Practises profile of the Toronto Program. This type of program would give Ottawa residents welcome relief from high energy bills while at the same time reducing Ottawa’s carbon footprint. Because it involves a loan and not a grant, the City can recover all of its costs – truly a win-win initiative that any councillor seeking re-election this year should support.


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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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