See the heat discovers ways to make your home more energy efficient

February 3, 2020

The spike in energy use during the recent cold snap is a good reminder of the value of draft proofing, and new support is available for residents and builders who want to identify where they are losing heat from their homes and take measures to prevent it.

“We are happy to partner with the Okanagan Regional Library and FortisBC to help residents see the areas of heat loss in their homes so they can make upgrades, reduce their energy use and heating bills, and make their home more comfortable,” said Chris Ray, Community Energy Specialist, City of Kelowna. “Improving the energy efficiency of homes is also one of the ways to meet Kelowna’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”

Through the See the Heat Program, Kelowna residents can borrow a thermal imaging camera from the Okanagan Regional Library to see where heat loss is happening in their home.

On the coldest day during the cold snap, Jan.14, natural gas use increased by 50 per cent across the province compared to the previous Tuesday, and was 75 per cent higher than a typical January day. Use on FortisBC's electric system was up by 35 per cent that day compared to the previous week.

Along with the thermal imaging camera that connects to a smart phone or tablet, participants will receive a free draft-proofing kit containing:

  • Electrical switch and outlet draft insulators
  • Window insulation
  • Weather stripping (for doors or windows)

Residents can also access instant discounts from FortisBC on items like door sweeps, foam tape and caulking at Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and The Home Depot from now until March 13.

Kelowna residents with an Okanagan Regional Library card in good standing can visit http://www.orl.bc.ca/ and search “Home Energy Kit” to reserve a camera from the Mission, Downtown or Rutland branch. The cameras can be borrowed for up to seven days.

“We are very happy to be part of this project to enable library card holders to improve the efficiency of their homes. I truly hope people will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity,” said Michal Utko, Director of Marketing and Communications with the Okanagan Regional Library. “This program is a fantastic way to empower Okanagan residents to understand how their home uses energy, find ways to make it more efficient and save money in the long run.”

For building professionals looking to find cost effective ways to meet the Energy Step Code, the City of Kelowna, Okanagan College, and UBCO are hosting a workshop at the Okanagan Innovation Centre on February 18. Additionally,  for builders looking to upgrade their skills on the latest airtightness methods, the City of Kelowna and FortisBC are co-sponsoring an Airtightness workshop, scheduled for February 26. For details on both events, visit kelowna.ca/energystepcode.

To learn more about the See the Heat program and ways to improve you’re home’s energy efficiency, visit kelowna.ca/energy.