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Posted: October 10, 2021

Warming up the Columbia Valley for a cooler future

It’s not just the environment that will benefit from the transition to electric methods of heating and cooling our homes; Columbia Valley homeowners will benefit too. But many homeowners need to better understand what heat pumps are, what incentives are available, and who can help install them.

That’s why the Community Energy Association (CEA) is excited to launch a pilot program in the Columbia Valley focused on increasing heat pump retrofits.

CEA is looking for 30 homeowners interested in switching out their oil, propane or electric baseboard heating to a more efficient (and climate friendly) air source heat pump. Homeowners involved in the pilot will be supported every step of the way, from understanding the benefits of heat pumps and deciding if it’s right for their homes, to accessing an energy advisor and finding a qualified contractor. Support will be available to navigate the ever-expanding rebate offers available.

CEA is also looking for local HVAC and building professionals to participate in the pilot project. Contractors will learn from peers and experts on quality heat pump design and installation, gain access to heat pump training and wage subsidies, and stay ahead of changing retrofit and industry requirements.

“This is a great opportunity for Kootenay contractors to stay ahead of evolving customer needs, especially with growing rebates available for heat pumps. We’re seeing more homeowners interested in heat pump technology given the added benefits of air conditioning and air filtration they can provide.  The Province of BC also recently announced its plans to shift away from a fossil fuel economy to a cleaner, greener economy through low carbon technologies and electrification. We want to help more homeowners and local contractors to get ready for the shift,” said Megan Lohmann, Director of Climate Initiatives, Community Energy Association.

The Community Energy Association has worked with residents in the Columbia Valley on the East Kootenay Energy Diet and Accelerate Kootenays, and continues to work with local governments on a variety of initiatives through the Regional District of East Kootenay Community Energy Manager position.

CEA is a member-based, non-profit organization working since 1995 at the community level to reduce emissions, conserve energy and progressively transition to a low carbon, resilient economy. As a non-profit consultant, all proceeds from CEA’s work go back into advancing low carbon solutions for community climate action. Its staff are distributed around BC and its Board is comprised of representatives from local governments, utilities, and the private sector.

Upcoming Opportunities: 

  • Trades Training: Thermal Environmental Comfort Association: Principles of Moving Air

When: November 4-6.
Where: Invermere – Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce Register Now (space is limited)

Today, newer more efficient furnaces and especially heat pumps require larger volumes of air to be moved than older higher temperature rise heating equipment. The Principles of Moving Air (POMA) course will benefit anyone working in the industry to supply quiet, efficient systems which deliver the required volumes while using the least fan energy.

Community Energy Association


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