“My kids grew up here in Halifax, so they are used to the winters,” says Louizella, the single mother of a 13-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, “but even they noticed how cold it was in the house.”
Originally from Lebanon, she came to Nova Scotia in 1995. “This is home now,” says the part-time bank worker. But that home was very cold in winter.
“There was no way I could go downstairs without feeling the drafts. The electric heat was always going, but it was still so cold that I was spending even more on electricity because I was also using space heaters to stay warm.”
“I’m on a low income, so this situation was very difficult. I was stressed out over it.”
A friend, another single mom, told her about the HomeWarming program. The initiative helps Nova Scotians save money on heating bills and feel more comfortable year-round. It could even reduce their carbon footprint.
Clean Foundation and Efficiency Nova Scotia are working together to offer income-qualified homeowners these free energy efficiency improvements. Clean works on electrically heated homes while Efficiency Nova Scotia looks after non-electrically heated homes.
Louizella qualified for HomeWarming, and Clean’s Energy Advisor Zenon Pilipowicz was assigned to her house. “Louizella’s home was actually pretty efficient,” says Zenon. “The exterior surfaces, including the basement walls and attics, were sufficiently insulated. But Louizella’s power bills were quite high and her home was very cold.”
So it became a sleuthing challenge for the experienced energy advisor. “I located a source of air-leakage under her front entrance-way, in a small cubby closet, which was contributing to heat-loss and drafts in her home. And some windows and door trims were also leaking air. I sealed these with caulking and spray foam.
“In just two hours, I reduced the drafts in her home by about 15 percent. While this may not sound like a big change, it could save her up to $380 a year!”
“Zenon was amazing,” says Louizella. “He checked the whole house and did lots of draft-proofing. You could feel the difference right away. I was so grateful.”
And the support didn’t end there. “Zenon was always following up, even on things that were outside of his area of work. He contacted Efficiency Nova Scotia to get me in their direct install program, which does things like installing energy efficient lightbulbs. He also referred me to Housing Nova Scotia for a heating system repair grant.”
Louizella encourages other low-income homeowners to look into the program.
Clean Foundation and Efficiency Nova Scotia offer low-income homeowners free energy efficiency improvements that can help them feel more comfortable while reducing heating and power bills. And these upgrades are provided at no-cost thanks to the generous support of Nova Scotia Power and the Government of Nova Scotia. Why? Because a house is a structure. A home is warm.Find out if you're eligible
You can speak confidentially with a Service Advisor about your eligibility by calling HomeWarming at 1-877-434-2136 (toll free) or by filling in the form. Intake will be completed by Efficiency Nova Scotia to provide an easy process for all applicants.
If your community group or association would like to learn more about HomeWarming, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a presentation.
If you are a reporter and would like to speak to HomeWarming, please email us at email@example.com