EcoSave program coordinator Carmen Proctor presents to the Regional District of Central Kootenay last month. The program is more than halfway toward its goal of 200 participants.

EcoSave program coordinator Carmen Proctor presents to the Regional District of Central Kootenay last month. The program is more than halfway toward its goal of 200 participants.

Nelson energy program a hit

A program aimed at helping Nelson residents make their homes more energy efficient is “beyond successful” after its first two months.

A program aimed at helping Nelson residents make their homes more energy efficient is “beyond successful” after its first two months, according to its coordinator.

Carmen Proctor says 110 participants have registered so far for the EcoSave program, which gives access to home energy assessments at a reduced cost, up to $7,000 in rebates for efficiency improvements, and on-bill financing through Nelson Hydro.

Between 70 and 80 per cent of those signed up have completed home energy assessments, while one person has already been approved for on-bill financing — a first in BC.

“It’s a two-year pilot phase, and for 2012-13 we had a target of 200 to sign up, 100 to hopefully do some retrofits and maybe 50 to use the financing system,” Proctor says.

“We’re blowing those numbers right out of the water.”

Proctor says contractors are telling customers about rebates and an information session last month was standing-room only. She adds FortisBC and BC Hydro are both watching closely, as they’re mandated to roll out similar programs later this year.

Home energy assessments are $50 if you register before the end of July. After that, it goes up to $100, and later in the fall $127, which Proctor says is “still a really good deal,” because a regular assessment is $150 to $200.

There’s a post-retrofit cost of $150 as well, which has to be paid to access rebates.

Register online or at city hall or at hardware stores. Proctor can be reached at 250-509-2021 or cproctor@nelson.ca. The program’s website is nelson.ca/ecosave.