Redwoods residents pleased by conservation help from BC Hydro

As manager of the Redwoods in Richmond, Julio Del Cid has become a big fan of BC Hydro's Energy Conservation Assistance Program.

Robin Miller

Julio Del Cid experimented with his own townhouse first, installing energy-saving products that were so successful he decided "yes, absolutely yes" to recommending BC Hydro's Energy Conservation Assistance Program for all the units he manages at the Redwoods in Richmond.

"It's a great program," says Julio, "especially for an affordable family housing complex like ours, where everything – heating, hot water – is electrical and our tenants are responsible for paying their own energy bills."

The Redwoods consists of 38 two-, three- and four-bedroom townhouses, owned by B.C. Housing and managed by the non-profit Shiloh Housing Society. As the Redwoods on-site manager, Julio worked with BC Hydro's Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP for short) to coordinate free home energy evaluations for all 38 units.

"When I told our families about it," he says, "they all said 'of course, of course!'"

Del Cid was impressed with how thorough the technicians were with the energy evaluation.

"They checked the lights, the doors, the attics, the showerheads and hot water tanks of every unit, and then fixed what they could right on the spot," he says. "Each bathroom alone had eight light bulbs that they switched to CFLs, so it was about 20 to 24 new lights for each house in total."

Based on the evaluations, each household received a range of energy-efficient products, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use up to 75 per cent less energy than regular light bulbs. Also included were water-saving showerheads, faucet aerators, weather stripping, water heater blankets and thermal covers for hot water pipes.

In 30 units, the tenants also received brand new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators, which use about half the energy of fridges made before 1993.

"All our families are really, really happy with the results," says Julio, "because not only are they saving money on their energy bills, they're doing something good for the environment.

"I'm happy, too, because as part of the program, the contractor working with BC Hydro – Quality Home Improvements – changed all of our exit signs to LEDs, which use a fraction of the electricity and last for years. I no longer have to change them every month."

Need more information?

BC Hydro offers bulk delivery of the Energy Conservation Assistance Program for housing organizations with multiple affordable housing units. We will determine if you are eligible for the program based on the average electricity consumption for your housing complex and your organization's low-income criteria.

To find out more about ECAP, please call 1 877 431 9463 or get information online.

Robin Miller is a freelance writer and frequent contributor.

Source: BC Hydro News