Seniors' Home Energy Assistance Program Applications Available
Low- and modest-income seniors in Nova Scotia can now apply for funding to help make their homes more energy efficient.
The Department of Energy is offering grants and rebates to qualified seniors who participate in the EnerGuide for Houses program, administered by Natural Resources Canada. The funding will allow seniors to make improvements to their homes to help them save energy and money.
"Nova Scotians own some of the oldest houses in the country, and many of these homes were built before efficient energy use was a concern," said Energy Minster Cecil Clarke. "Encouraging more Nova Scotians to make energy upgrades will help us reduce both power generation and harmful greenhouse gas emissions."
Seniors who participate in the EnerGuide for Houses program can apply to receive a $150 rebate from the Department of Energy to cover the cost of the initial home energy audit, a provincial grant to a maximum of $1,000, and an additional $400 seniors' grant to help pay for renovations and upgrades. The provincial rebate and grants are in addition to the EnerGuide for Houses grants offered by Natural Resources Canada.
Participating seniors will also receive an energy savings kit. When installed properly, the contents of the kit can reduce energy costs by up to $100 a year. The kit includes compact flourescent lights (CFLs), low flow shower heads, water tap aerators, LED night lights, foam insulators, weatherstripping, and a storm window kit.
The initial audit is conducted by a qualified energy auditor. The evaluation involves a blower test to identify air leakage points, a report with customized energy upgrade recommendations, and an estimate of annual energy consumption.
In order to qualify for the rebate and renovation grants, applicants must be either a single senior over 65 years old with an income below $25,000 or a senior over 65 with a combined family income below $40,000. Seniors over 65 that receive guaranteed income supplements and/or the allowance are also eligible.
In Nova Scotia, there are three organizations that deliver the EnerGuide for Houses program. Seniors interested in the program should contact one of the following organizations in their region to learn more about the audit and the financial assistance available:
- Sustainable Housing and Education Consultants,(provincewide) 1-877-722-2842;
- Clean Nova Scotia,(Halifax Regional Municipality) 1-800-605-5377 or 420-3474;
- Atlantic Coastal Action Program,(Cape Breton Regional Municipality) 1-902-567-1628.
Seniors who qualify for more assistance from the province will need to fill out an application to verify their income. Applications are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/energy by selecting the Smart Energy Choices icon or by calling 1-800-670-4357 to speak with a government representative.
The seniors' EnerGuide home energy assistance program is part of the Smart Energy Choices program announced in October 2005.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Applications for provincial rebates and grants are now available for low- and moderate-income seniors taking part in the EnerGuide for Houses program.
Seniors over 65 years old with a combined family income of under 40-thousand dollars or a single income under 25-thousand dollars who have a home energy audit completed qualify for the program.
Applications are available on the Department of Energy website or by calling 1-800-670-4357.