Recently I’ve been focusing on the rebates that are available to homeowners that are either constructing new houses with green features, or retrofitting their existing houses to be more energy efficient. We will be compiling a page on the webpage with rebates available to Nova Scotians. It seems the government is putting some decent funding into these programs, with a few thousands of dollars in rebates available from some of the Atlantic provinces, and qualification for zero-interest loans. These are great incentives for homeowners because many energy efficient features present high up-front cost, with payback periods spanning over a few years. This way, as homeowners begin benefitting from cheaper energy and water bills, they are able to put this money back towards their loans. This makes installing energy efficient features much more affordable to homeowners. Extra monetary support is also available to those in low- to modest-income houses.
In my second week in the ThermalWise office I am still learning about a huge variety of really cool green building products available in Nova Scotia, from green roofs and rainwater harvesting to low flow showerheads and bamboo flooring. Although continuing this research, we have also started on another aspect of our summer project: case studies.
I spent some time creating questions to ask project planners. For example, we would like to know how they have increased water efficiency, and what was done to improve indoor air quality. In addition to informational content, Justin and I also spent some time this week brainstorming on the visual layouts of the finished case studies. On Monday I am really looking forward to our site visit to a home in a development in Dartmouth. This development will have the first LEED certified homes in HRM.