Home comfort, peace of mind and energy savings have arrived hand-in-hand for Wel- don and Rose Nicholson of New Waterford, Cape Breton.
By taking advantage of Efficiency Nova Scotia programs, the retirees reduced their home energy consump- tion, satisfied their insurance compa- ny’s concern, and gave themselves the option of sleeping late, without fear of waking to frigid indoor temperatures in the depths of winter.
“You just lay in bed and you let the furnace look after it,” says Mr. Nicholson, a Devco pensioner.
That’s luxury for a couple that relied on an old cast iron coal furnace to get them through the first three months of each year.
No fans of automatic coal stokers, the Nicholsons did the job manually and that meant rising promptly each morning. Now they burn oil year-round. The change was affordable, thanks to a series of insulation and energy-efficient upgrades through Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Direct Install program and its EnerGuide for Existing Houses, now known as the Home Energy Assess- ment Service.
“(Our) oil bills were about $500 or something a month in the winter,” re- calls Mr. Nicholson. “It went down to a little over half of what we paid before.”
After the upgrades, Mr. Nichol- son qualified for $830 in rebates and according to Efficiency Nova Scotia estimates, he is expected to save about $170 on his annual electricity bill and shave 227 litres off his yearly furnace oil requirements.
A before-and-after energy audit revealed the Nicholson home boosted its EnerGuide rating from 69 to 72 by improving the attic insulation, installing a new window and front door, and caulking all the windows. Other energy efficient steps included switching 27 lights to compact florescent lamps, two nightlights to LEDs and disconnecting the coal furnace from the oil furnace pipes.
An energy assessment revealed sig- nificant air leaks in the attic and around the front door. “In the attic, gee the cold air was coming down like anything,” he says. “The outside entrance – it was wicked out there! All I had was a hollow door. It was cold there all the time. But I didn’t mind when it was coal-heated it didn’t matter anyway.”
Does he recommend other homeowners take advantage of Efficiency Nova Scotia programs?
“Would I ever!” he says. “Anybody I talk to I tell them, ‘What a difference!’”
For information on Energy Saving Programs visit www.efficiencyns.ca or call 877-999-6035