If you’re thinking about renovating, now is a good time to do it, says Victoria homeowner Simon Gunn.
He recently renovated the house he owns and rents out, because he realized it was time to do some major maintenance on the two-storey 1910 home.
He wanted to make the home more comfortable for his tenants, and to make it more energy efficient as a way of saving energy and money. “Efficiency was paramount,” he says. “You could see the rising cost in the heating bill.”
Gunn says he was motivated by the government grants and rebates available, particularly through the Canadian government’s ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes initiative. Any homeowner in Canada can apply for grants from these programs, even if, like Gunn, they don’t live in the home they are renovating.
The grants and rebates encouraged Gunn to do a lot of renovations, he says. “There was an element of upkeep and it was a necessity to do the upgrades.” After looking at the list of recommended renovations from his Home Energy Advisor, Gunn decided to go all the way.
Air source heat pump
His first task was to improve the home’s energy use and help his tenants with the cost of heating the home. To meet both goals, Gunn installed a Lennox Energy Star-rated air source heat pump, which uses far less energy than the old oil furnace used.
The air source heat pump creates no emissions, and is a highly efficient way of heating the home. Between savings on fuel costs and greenhouse gases, the air source heat pump is a vast improvement over the old oil furnace, which operated at only 60 percent fuel efficiency and sent several tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year.
To keep the heat indoors, and help the air source heat pump operate even more efficiently, Gunn added insulation to the home’s main walls, attic, and basement walls.
By insulating these areas, he was able to make sure the home was comfortable in the winter, and in the summer, too. That’s because the insulation slows the speed at which heat can travel through the building envelope, which in turn reduces the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool the indoor space.
Energy Star windows
The home’s original windows were single pane windows, which let a lot of heat transfer through the glass panes. In the winter, drafts from the windows would cause chilly spots in the rooms, and in the summer, the sun shone through and made the house too warm.
To solve this problem, Gunn had a contractor install 30 new thermal windows that were Energy Star-rated for the Victoria climate zone. The difference was instantly noticeable. The new windows keep the home quieter and more comfortable, and make it look better, too.
Tankless hot water heater
Finally, to make sure his tenants had a ready supply of hot water, Gunn installed an instantaneous hot water heater. This kind of hot water heater, also called a “tankless” or “on demand” system, provides hot water as it’s needed.
It saves energy because it only provides hot water when someone turns on the tap, instead of storing large amounts of hot water that must be rewarmed if it isn’t used.
Grants and rebates
Overall, Gunn did a remarkable number of upgrades and renovations to improve the energy efficiency of the home. He says the government incentives certainly helped with the cost of the upgrades.
But Gunn isn’t the only one to benefit from the grants and rebates, because his tenants get to enjoy the results of the renovations, too. The tenants have said that the home is much warmer and their utility bills have gone down, Gunn reports.
He’s glad he took advantage of the grants and rebates initiatives, Gunn adds. “We tend to put these things off because of the costs involved, but the sooner you do them the better. You save more money in the long run.” And, he adds, “everyone has to do it, not just Canadians. It’s a global phenomenon. The [European Union] has been on this from the beginning, to get homes to be more efficient.”
Victoria homeowners can choose from a shopping list of South Coastal LiveSmart BC rebates:
Victoria homeowners can also get ...
And there’s more.
Take advantage of government rebates + grants up to $7,000 and more for home energy renovation in Victoria BC:
Enjoy all the benefits
Do it right
Each Victoria home has its own specific energy-savings needs, and yours is no different. The right renovations add up to big savings. By following the expert advice of a certified BC energy advisor, you’ll make the energy renovations or "retrofits" that are right for your Victoria home — and help improve your energy costs and the Victoria, BC - Capital Regional District’s environment.
Energy renovations help ...
And that’s not all. Here are more benefits ...
When you improve your home in Victoria, you also make a difference to the rest of the world. You’ll help address important global issues like ...
And there’s even more. Click here to learn how Victoria homeowners like you are saving thousands of dollars and tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, by making the right energy-saving home renovations. Victoria BC homeowners can make a difference.
Learn more about Renovation Rebates in Victoria BC ...
To qualify you need a Victoria
home energy audit before your renovations.
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