Financing Home Retrofits
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and the City of Nanaimo (the City) are working on a community energy retrofit feasibility study to understand and support existing building energy efficiency and emission reduction retrofit financing options. The study will help governments understand low-density residential greenhouse gas emissions sources and opportunities to reduce those emissions through building retrofit and financing programs.
Complete the Survey
To support the study, the RDN and City will be asking homeowners to complete a short survey about homeowner needs, barriers, and preferences related to home energy efficiency upgrades. This survey aims to collect feedback on ways that the RDN the City can help homeowners pay for home energy improvements, such as installing energy-efficient windows, replacing furnace and air conditioning systems, or installing solar panels.
The voluntary survey is being conducted by Mainstreet Research and some homeowners may be contacted directly by phone. No personal information questions such as name, specific address or banking information will be asked. To provide your feedback, please complete the survey by mid-September.
To take the survey, click here: research.net/r/RDNanaimo
In fall 2022, the RDN and City were awarded up to $175,000 in funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support a deep home energy financing study for the Nanaimo Region. A consultant team of Dunsky Energy, Climative and Kambo Energy Group was selected to complete a deep energy retrofit study including recommendations for home energy improvement financing and incentive-based programs that work for most residents. The project was launched in April 2023, and includes the following key tasks:
1. Energy and Emissions Inventory - An analysis of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, energy use, and GHG emissions in existing low-density residential buildings in the region.
2. Building Type Analysis - An analysis of energy and carbon intensity and the best path to reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency in terms of quick wins for between 5 to 10 building types. Buildings types will be based on building size, age, and number of units.
3. Barrier Identification - Identify financial and non-financial barriers discouraging or preventing homeowners from installing energy efficient and low-carbon upgrades, specific to the building archetypes identified and their neighbourhood contexts. Barriers will be considered through an equity lens.
4. Evaluate Financing Options - Identify financing options available for home energy and carbon reduction retrofits.
We are currently working on steps one and two.
The RDN as a whole has committed to reducing community greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 2007 levels by 2050. Buildings (commercial, institution, and residential) in the RDN together account for 19 per cent of RDN emissions, with residential buildings account for 70% of those emissions. One of the recommendations from the RDN’s Climate Action Technical Advisory Committee (CATAC) final report includes expanding existing supports for climate adaptive home retrofits in our area. The City of Nanaimo has greenhouse gas reduction targets of 50 to 58 per cent below 2010 GHG levels by 2030 and to 94 to 107 per cent below 2010 by 2050, including emissions from buildings. Buildings and infrastructure account for 31 per cent of Nanaimo’s community GHG emissions. In order to meet our emission reduction targets, the RDN, City, and local residents need to take greater action to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the emissions of existing buildings.
The RDN supports residents taking climate action in their homes through its Green Building rebate and outreach program, which started in 2012.
Residents can reduce their residential building emissions by:
- Making the switch from high carbon heating fuel sources such as Natural Gas or Oil to high efficiency electric heat pumps or other solar or electric energy sources.
- Getting an Energy Audit done to learn how to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
- Adding a smart thermostat to help improve comfort and save money on energy bills.
- Replacing doors, windows, or sliding glass doors with ENERGY STAR® certified models.
- Upgrading eligible attic, cathedral ceiling, flat roof, exterior wall, exposed floor, basement, and crawl space insulation.
Rebates are available from the Provincial and Federal government for most of the above suggested upgrades; however, due to rising prices on just about everything, we realize home owners need more help to address financial and non-financial barriers in order to make these upgrades. This study will help the RDN and City understand where best to invest our resources to support residents in overcoming these barriers and ensure that we are providing supports that work for our residents.