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For a frugal Scot, Energy Conservation Assistance Program is perfect

Robin Miller

For bchydro.com

Ken Wardroper is a 67-year-old retired cab driver on a fixed income. He's also by nature a very frugal man.

"I'm a true Scot," he says. "I've been a nickel-and-dimer all my life, very conservative with money. I use coupons, I read flyers, I get all the two-for-ones I can."

That's why he jumped at BC Hydro's free Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) as soon as he heard about it.

ECAP provides qualified BC Hydro account holders with a free home energy evaluation. Depending on the results of that evaluation, the household will receive a range of easy-to-install energy-efficient products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use up to 75% less energy than regular light bulbs, water-saving showerheads and weather stripping to stop cold drafts around doors and windows.

If necessary, BC Hydro will also work with a qualified local contractor to supply and install additional energy-saving products, such as a blanket to wrap the water heater and thermal covers for hot water pipes. In some cases, BC Hydro will install an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator, which uses about half the energy of a fridge made before 1993.

Most important for Ken Wardroper, however, was the opportunity to have his rather chilly (but lovely) 900-square-foot, two-bedroom bungalow fully insulated for the first time since it was built in 1946.

Located in the Hillside area of Victoria, Ken bought the house 14 years ago.

"It's my pride and joy," he says. "I own it outright and I've restored it myself. But one thing I hadn't done was the insulation. There was some insulation in the ceilings but nothing in the external walls – so to have someone come in and do it for me, for free, it was like winning the lottery!"

About the program

The Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) is currently available for low-income BC Hydro account holders (owners or renters) who use more than 8,000 kilowatts of electricity a year, or spend more than $500 a year on their electricity bills. It's available to those living in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island only.

To find out more about ECAP or BC Hydro's Energy Saving Kits, which contain $75 worth of easy-to-use and easy-to-install energy-saving products, please call 1 877 431 9463 or learn more about the Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) online.

Robin Miller is a freelance writer and regular contributor to bchydro.com.