By Amy Woolvett
THE COAST GUARD
An information session on alternative sources of energy and energy rebate possibilities drew large crowds in Shelburne last week.
The informal information session focused mainly on solar energy alternatives for both home and business with talks by Nova Scotia Power, Efficiency Nova Scotia, Doctor Solar, Heritage Hall as well as local residents Emily and Guy Tipton.
People were able to learn all about the possibilities of solar energy including, installation costs, feasibility, and cost savings.
They were also able to speak first hand with both business and homeowners who have gone the solar route and to find out what their impressions were.
The Tiptons have exchanged some of their conventional heating with solar heating over the past year including a pop can solar heater that works to increase the heating temperature of their home by eight to 10 degrees. With this method 100 watts of energy creates 2.5 kw of heat.
They further harnessed the sun’s energy to their advantage by installing a solar hot water heater in their home as well as an in-floor heating system. While they found the pop can solar heater to be simple to install they both agree that the solar hot water heater be done only by a professional.
The project estimated at around $7000 including rebates that they had no troubles accessing. They expect to get a return on their investment in seven to 10 years.
To educate the public on possible incentives on their energy projects, a representative from Efficiency Nova Scotia was in attendance with a copious amount of information on rebates available for both homeowners and businesses who upgrade toward energy efficiency.
Josh McLean, a representative from Efficiency Nova Scotia said that there were some very attractive rebates for people out there.
“We are there to help Nova Scotia save energy,” he said. “Whatever income level…high or low it doesn’t matter.”
He explained that in order to get the rebates a home energy test that costs $150 would first need to be conducted and the upgrades approved.
He also said that lower income earners could qualify for free energy assessments as well as labour to install the upgrades.
More information for this program can be found at 1-877-999 -6035 or efficiencyns.ca
The Nova Scotian company, Dr Solar was also in attendance answering installation and product questions as well as costs and rebates for solar hot water heaters and other services.
Rebates are for CSA approved systems only, there must be an energy audit performed and the system must be installed with 18-months of the initial audit for retrofit projects on existing homes. Up to $3750 is available in rebates.
For new construction up to $5500 is available in rebates but homeowners must apply to program within 30 days of building permit date.
Homes must have EnerGuide rating of at least 83.