November 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm #1416
Check out Table 2 (page 11) in the Home Energy Retrofit Incentive Campaigns Analysis Report. You can find the correct link to this report by accessing the “CCEM 105 Replacement Page” activity.
Table 2 lists barriers to residential energy efficiency as identified by the 11 retrofit campaigns analyzed.
Pick one barrier and comment upon it. Do you think this would be a significant barrier in your community? How might you overcome it?
November 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm #1430
I will comment on the second barrier -“Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is Not People’s Top Priority – Solar Colwood”. I made a comment along these lines in a previous thread. Living in a southern coastal community, I am not surprised by this for two main reasons: first, we have a climate moderating impact from the ocean and thus do not need our houses to insulate us from extreme cold or heat. Secondly, this same region also has a significant proportion of the most expensive real estate and high cost of living in the province, so if someone is looking at energy refits, building with new efficiency or renewable energy, there is less financial incentive, or the pay-back period is longer with the moderating climate.
I almost wonder if the only way that this can be overcome in this region is to work to make these sort of actions become social norms, using incentive programs, educated planners and & building inspectors, cheaper assessment tools, local government incentives. A lot of this is being done, but I have to admit that keeping track of what program(s) is available and what has ended or not available in this region can be onerous.
November 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm #1433
People are looking at efficiency and renewables after they design and build their house. The best opportunities for energy savings are in the design stage… so even if renewable energy is growing exponentially it doesn’t work as well without strenuous efficiency efforts. The rising cost of energy will help, as will the “normalizing” of those efforts. I’d like to see a significant break on permitting for renewables and efficiency, as well ad educating the planners and inspectors: this is crucial and it’s lacking, leading to sloppy implementation.
November 18, 2015 at 11:16 am #1434
I will comment on barrier 1, “Energy efficiency is boring”. This barrier is certainly prevalent in Yukon and is, based on my experience, closely related to a number of other barriers. I find that the Yukon public is very concerned about energy, however this translates almost entirely into electricity generation and its environmental impacts, and little attention is paid even to heat. We therefore spend a significant amount of time working to improve our electricity grid and generating assets. Yukon currently generates about 95% of its electricity with from hydro. This overemphasis is the result of the publics interest in generation, and their lack of interest in energy efficiency or heat, which translates roughly into “boredom”. We at the Energy Branch do our best to improve the energy literacy of the public so that they understand the interrelationships between different forms of energy and energy efficiency. We also do a lot of work to educate the public on how important energy efficiency is including the administration and outreach on the bulk of Yukon’s energy efficiency incentives.
November 25, 2015 at 9:53 pm #1439
I suppose another view on Ryan’s “Energy is Boring” comment is the perception that it is relatively cheap, so we can afford to not pay too much attention. While the electricity rates are on the rise in British Columbia, they remain relatively low compared to some jurisdictions. This has allowed for the public to see electrical energy as not a priority to conserve, compared to more costly fuels.
With many”Smart Meters” installed in consumers homes, I would assume, BC Hydro could follow the path started in California and begin to adjust its rate structure to vary based on demand over a 24 hour period. I wonder then how bored consumers will become waiting for an affordable time to do the laundry?
December 3, 2015 at 11:26 am #1496
I would agree with you when referring to larger municipalities in BC. Yes I believe that BC Hydro will move to a California or Ontario type version when electricity costs more at peak times of use.
November 26, 2015 at 5:15 pm #1441
Ryan, I agree with your point on the imbalance in people’s concerns about electricity vs. heating …
Rob, the lower electricity costs that you speak of for B.C. are definitely unique to “the South” … we have electricity rates ranging from ~$0.2973/kWh all the way up to $0.6083 when usage goes above GNWT subsidy threshold limits of 700 kWh (Summer) & 1000 kWh (Winter)
The rates for the thermal communities would be the higher 60.86 cents/kWh but the GNWT subsidy decreases that substantially, to off-set the higher diesel electricity generation costs. As a result, there is also a skewed sense of electricity costs as not being as high as they really are around the NWT.
People are definitely more “tuned in” to the impacts of high electricity prices/bills but this doesn’t often translate to a decrease in usage, moreso, greater #’s of people unhappy about their electricity bills.
Barriers #2 & #3 (lack of knowledge on EE & incentives respectively) are likely more significantly factoring in here … something I observe quite often, when I am able to work with folks to help them understand their electricity bills & these subsidy threshold details or the impacts of standby/phantom power, etc. Overall though, amid the complaints of high bills & seeming apathy about these issues, if people have a limited ability to cover their utility bills, they tend to be more mindful of their electricity/heating fuel usage.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Jen Grebeldinger.
November 23, 2015 at 6:22 pm #1435
I will comment on “complexity and customer lack of knowledge on incentives”.
City of Nanaimo has been working on an energy benchmarking program that is working closely with the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board to provide training, tools and incentives for Realtors. to use to encourage their clients to complete home energy assessments and retrofits, around the time of sale for an existing home.
Early in the program, concerns about the technical nature of the topic became an issue. Working with a focus group of realtors and later, during the development of the training course, the use of complex terms was minimized and more effort was placed on “selling energy efficiency” as a method of adding value to a home sale. Getting realtors to complete their own energy audits and asking them to arrange to host training sessions in homes they were selling, helped the realtors more easily relate to the concepts that were taught and allowed the realtors to tell their own stories about completing an energy audit with their clients.
The local Real Estate Board hosted a website that provided background information and financial incentives on energy efficiency written for Realtors and their clients (see http://www.vireb.com/reep).
November 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm #1440
#8. “high, upfront cost of some retrofit measures”
Not only are there high upfront costs for a variety of important retrofit measures, there is an added barrier of the lack of AVAILABLE and/or COMPETENT local vendors & contractors to provide retrofit materials and technologies and/or do the necessary retrofit/installation work. Any work undertaken through out-of-town contractors involves a much higher installation cost, since the contractors need to account for their added work & travel time/expenses to get themselves to your location, anywhere from 1.5 – 4 hours drive for many of the communities in the Dehcho territory to have contractors come their way from Ft. Simpson, or from 4-7 hours drive to get folks in from Hay River!
In addition, due to the high cost of living for communities further North, people do not have a great deal of readily available funds to undertake such retrofit projects. Even purchasing an EnergyStar appliance with a $200 (fridge or chest freezer) or $400 (washing machine) GNWT rebate (for thermal communities) is not done as often as you might think, since it seems the extra funds to buy such appliances are not as readily available or deemed to be worthwhile to spend on an appliance that is twice as expensive as a non-EnergyStar appliance.
Overall, though, I think this list of Barriers is quite reflective for many folks up this way and strategizing ways to deal with each of these barriers is very important for increasing the effectiveness of the energy efficiency efforts that are needed for most Northern home & other buildings.
January 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm #1627
People are looking at efficiency and renewables after they design and build their house. The best opportunities for energy savings are in the design stage… so even if renewable energy is growing exponentially it doesn’t work as well without strenuous efficiency efforts. The rising cost of energy will help, as will the “normalizing” of those efforts. I’d like to see a significant break on permitting for renewables and efficiency, as well as more education for the planners and inspectors.
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