Carmen Proctor spoke to the regional district this year about the EcoSave program.

EcoSave program exceeds expectations in Nelson

The City of Nelson is making some changes to its new EcoSave Energy Retrofits program following overwhelming interest.

The City of Nelson is making some changes to its new EcoSave Energy Retrofits program following overwhelming interest.

Following some additional research by staff, council passed a bylaw amendment allowing for residents involved with the program to access up to $16,000 in loans through Nelson Hydro.

“We originally did some research and the loan amounts were between $8,000 and $16,000,” said city manager Kevin Cormack following a special council meeting earlier this month.

“We set a limit of $10,000 initially. We are now seeing from the people who put in applications that some of the work is estimated at up to $16,000. Because of that, some people were either not doing fully what they wanted to do or having to get financing from other sources. We want to see people doing those deep retrofits and it’s really quite exciting that we are seeing actually pressure on that $10,000 limit.”

The EcoSave Energy Retrofit Program allows residents to access reduced cost home energy assessments, rebates for energy efficiency improvements to their homes and may qualify them for a Nelson Hydro on-bill financing program.

The City announced in August the program has passed the two-year pilot phase target in three months.

The goal was to have 200 home register. This number was exceeded and homeowners are continuing to sign up.

“We think people will do a few extra things that they wouldn’t have done without the additional amounts,” said Cormack.

“The goal of the program was to make it easy for people without having to run to three different financing services for funding. If this is a tool that allows them to do all of their retrofits, then that is what we want.”

In addition to accessing the on-bill financing through Nelson Hydro, homeowners are also able to access provincial grants.

“Our program works hand-in-hand with the LiveSmart program,” said Cormack. “We will lend you the $16,000 up front, then if you get a couple thousand back in grants you can use that to pay back your loans.”

The City is encouraging participating residents not to delay getting the work done on their homes by implementing a six month timeline.

“A question came out about why we have a six month deadline. We want to see people get that assessment and hire a contractor and get the work done,” said Cormack.

“If there is a time frame, it’s human nature that we push things to the limit so we wanted to give people a reasonable timeline to work towards.”

For more information on the EcoSave Retrofit Program  how to register contact Carmen Proctor at cproctor@nelson.ca or call 250-509-2021.

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