Did you know, in Central Saanich, the energy consumption of buildings is our second largest contributor of greenhouse gases? We are working to reduce the GHG emissions in our community, and this includes supporting the construction of energy efficient new buildings and encouraging energy efficient retrofits in existing buildings.
To meet the community targets in the Climate Leadership Plan, the District is looking at implementing a BC Energy Step Code adoption strategy that goes beyond the base BC Building Code. For existing buildings, we are establishing a retrofit program, utilizing partnerships with utilities, senior governments and other agencies to provide incentives.
Rebates are available for both new and existing buildings. Check out the links below.
For houses BetterHomesBC.ca
For business BetterBuildingsBC.ca
What can you do at home?
Draft-proof your home. Drafts can waste 5%-30% of a home’s energy. Try testing doors, windows and chimneys with incense. Where the smoke wavers, a draft is blowing in. To seal leaks, make or buy a “door snake” and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. You can also add small insulating covers underneath the wall plates of the electric outlets on outside walls, or adjacent to cold basements and crawl spaces.
Insulate your windows. Hang heavy curtains to keep the cold out and the cozy in, or keep the cool in and the warm out. An even cheaper solution is to apply insulation film, available at most hardware stores.
Reverse your ceiling fans. When fans turn clockwise, they push down the warm air that pools near the ceiling and circulates it through the room. Magic!
Replace furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow, decrease air quality, and increase a furnace's energy demand. Replace your furnace filters at least every three months during the heating season or ask your landlord to. Better indoor air quality is a nice side benefit of this energy-saving tip. Also, consider switching to a washable filter, which will reduce waste and is more effective.
Heat or cool the people not the space. Keeping people warm (or cool) is much more efficient than heating a whole space. In the summer, give your oven a break and check out 5 other ways to keep cool. In the winter, put on a sweater and slippers. Use an electric heat blanket or hot water bottle. Drink hot drinks. Get cozy.
- Mind your thermostat or ease off your air conditioning. For every degree you turn down the thermostat in the winter, you can save between 1.5-5% of your heating or cooling bill. Mind the thermostat when you’re not home or are sleeping. A programmable thermostat will help you get efficient and consistent.
- Consider getting a heat pump. It will help regulate your home temperature year round and now is the time to check out BetterHomesBC.ca for a list of rebates available, provincially and even regionally (CRD).
I want to learn more about...
Solar technology has evolved so that it is now possible for consumers to create surplus energy they can sell back to the local utility company. Homeowners can install a solar-electric (photovoltaic) system that converts sunlight into electricity, effectively slowing down the utility meter and reducing utility costs. Larger collection units can turn back the meter enough that, during the day, excess power can be sold back to the utility. This is called net metering.
What about rebates?
Currently, solar panel purchased are except from PST in BC, and the federal tax provision for clean energy was extended until 2025 (businesses, including farms, are allowed to depreciate the cost of their solar power system at an accelerated capital cost allowance rate of 50% on a declining balance basis.)