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Loan program paves way to energy savings

When we take out a loan to finance a car, we’re left paying it off for years, even though the car’s value depreciates. But with a home energy-efficiency loan, the return on your investment can show in energy savings for years to come.

For example, Ed from Castlegar received a loan from FortisBC to upgrade from electric baseboard heating to a mini split ductless air source heat pump (also known as mini split heat pumps).

“The savings from this new system are actually paying for more than our loan. Our loan is about $820 a year and we’re saving about $900 a year, so we’re just excited about that, really tickled,” said Ed.

After tracking his electricity use from November 2012 to March 2013, Ed calculated that his electricity bill decreased by about 30 per cent. His attention to energy efficiency has helped him achieve an impressive EnerGuide® rating of 82. EnerGuide is a standard measure of a whole home’s energy efficiency. The average energy efficiency rating for a house of this age in British Columbia is 59, whereas the highest rating achieved by the most energy-efficient houses in this category is 81.

The FortisBC air source heat pump loan provides up to $6,500 at 4.9 per cent over 10 years. It’s ideal for homes with electric forced air or baseboards as their primary heating system.