Reduce home heating costs — Westmount Examiner

Written by  //  December 12, 2007  //  Environment & Energy, Local news & events  //  No comments

Steven Guilbeault

Last weekend, Prime Minister Stephen Harper failed to support an agreement backed by several countries on the need to reduce pollution causing climate change. Mr. Harper is opposed to the Koyto Protocol on the grounds that the targets cannot be reached and that implementing it would be detrimental to the Canadian economy. Yet many studies have shown that pollution can be reduced while still maintaining our economic development.
A bit closer to home now…With winter knocking at our doors, it is time to think about our heating bills. In Quebec, there are two programs that help consumers reduce the cost of heating their homes.
Today, I’ll talk about the first of these programs, and will deal with the second in a future column.
The first program is called “Éconologis.” It is designed for modest-income households that are required to pay their own heating costs, and involves a free 1 ½-hour visit by two energy-efficiency consultants.
The first consultant analyzes the household’s energy use, explains the heating bill and provides tips on reducing consumption. Meanwhile, the second expert carries out minor repairs to improve the home’s efficiency: installation of caulking, weatherstripping, sweep weatherstrips, water conserving fixtures (low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators), compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc.
This year, the program will reach 12,000 Quebec homes, which should lead to a reduction in energy use of 5 to 12 percent in the households benefiting from the program.
Oddly enough, energy-efficiency programs were among the first to be cut by the Harper government in 2006, on the grounds that they were too expensive. Hundreds of energy-efficiency consultants across Canada subsequently lost their jobs. A few months later, the same government made plenty of noise when it announced a new energy-saving program…minus $600 million and not a dime for low-income families!
With that in mind, it is easy to understand why Canada has not been able to reach the Kyoto targets.

For more information on the “Econologis” program, or phone 1-877-727-6655

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