Councillor Gary Smith signs up for the Kootenay Energy Diet

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
July 3rd, 2013

Residents around the Boundary are signing up for the Kootenay Energy Diet and Grand Forks city councillor Gary Smith is one of them.

“The assessment’s already been done,” said Smith, adding the process was quick and informative. “The whole thing was done within an hour.”

Smith said the certified energy auditor came in and put plastic covers over the door and used a fan that forced air to flow in through the cracks.

“That pointed out the energy losses,” he said.

The assessor found there to be some air loss in the basement of Smith’s 1970s home and that the basement windows needed replacing.

“There’s a gap near the edge of the foundation that needs insulation,” he said.

A few years ago, Smith upgraded his furnace from one that was 60 per cent efficient to one that was 95 per cent efficient.

“I didn’t see any savings in my energy bills,” he said.

According to the auditor, this is because of the air leaks in the basement. Smith was told he qualified for up to a $500 grant, which would cover the cost of supplies to make the renovations. He will have to pay for the labour. It’s a cost he’s happy to shoulder.

“It’s worth the savings in the end,” he said. “Right now we are paying $150 a month on heat in the winter. That adds up.”

The auditor brought with him extras like a low-flow showerhead that was valued at $50 and three compact fluorescent lightbulbs. The assessment cost him less than $30 and Smith said he more than got his money back.

“I got about $100 worth of stuff for $25,” he said.

He also encourages residents to come forward and take part in the assessment.

“People absolutely should sign up. Nothing is mandatory. You don’t have to do the renovations, but who doesn’t like to save money?”

Some of the things are so minor that homeowners can handle them without hiring extra help. Things like adding insulation around electrical sockets can help make homes draft-proof without breaking the bank.

“The only thing you have to lose is heat,” said Smith.

There is still time to sign up for the Kootenay Energy Diet. The trade shows are over but Fortis BC has booths set up at the farmer’s markets. They will also be attending local events like the Greenwood Founder’s Day and the Vintage Fair in Rock Creek. For further information call Shelley Hastie at 250-368-1918 or read this page.


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