June 13, 2017 / For Immediate Release
BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – Thanks to the Clean Energy Financing program, homeowners in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg and the Town of Bridgewater can apply for affordable financing for efficiency and cleaner energy upgrades for the second year in a row.
If you live in Bridgewater or the District of Lunenburg, you can retrofit your home and finance it over a ten-year period. The Clean Energy Financing program will do the analysis to make sure you save as much or even more in energy and heating expenses than the cost of the retrofits.
The program is managed by the Clean Foundation, and information and applications can be found at www.CleanEnergyFinancing.ca.
“We offer low-interest loans to homeowners to help them make clean energy upgrades to their home,” says Jeff Merrill, Director of Planning and Development Services for the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. “The financing is up to $10,000 in the District of Lunenburg, and $15,000 to $20,000 in Bridgewater, paid back over a ten-year-period. It can be used for insulation in your attic, your walls, your basement. It could include a heat pump, heat recovery ventilator, or upgrades to your windows and doors,” adds Merrill. “Energy experts from Clean Foundation work with the homeowner to help them decide which retrofits are most appropriate for their home.”
A Home Energy Assessment determines what eligible upgrades are the best ‘bang for the buck’ for each individual house. It’s good news for residents with expensive homes to heat. “Sometimes, there was ice on the inside of the window, that’s how cold it got,” says Blake McDonald of his 19th-century farmhouse in Bridgewater before his involvement in Clean Energy Financing. “But because of the program, we were able to get cellulose insulation blown into our attic and spray foam in the basement. We also had some windows replaced, because drafts were a big problem. It’s had an immediate, positive impact on our finances.”
The municipalities are offering a low lending rate of just 4% for the upgrades. Residents will benefit from the Clean Energy Financing program by eliminating the large upfront cost of upgrades, and by spreading the payments over a period of 10 years. The financing is repayable through charges attached to the property–that’s why this type of program is known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. It’s a concept that’s becoming very popular in the U.S. and Europe. Nova Scotia is a leader in PACE financing in Canada.
“Over the course of the ten years of financing, the upgrades will save you more money than what you are repaying on a monthly basis,” says Leon de Vreede, the Sustainability Planner for the Town of Bridgewater. “It doesn’t cost you any money out-of-pocket, and you are saving money from day one.”
The financing is available on a first-come-first-served basis during 2017. [Please note: The District of Lunenburg does not include the Town of Lunenburg.]
Homeowners can visit CleanEnergyFinancing.ca to get more information and an application form, or by calling toll-free 1-844-727-7818. Several videos have been made available on YouTube for those who would like to learn more.
Director of Planning and Development Services
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
Leon de Vreede
Town of Bridgewater