The Thermal Imaging Camera is now available at the Kelowna Public Library. (Contributed)

Kelowna partners with FortisBC to increase energy efficiency in the home

Residents can now identify where heat loss is happening in their home through the thermal imaging camera

The City of Kelowna has been hunkering down this winter after a series of cold snaps, but heating costs a pretty penny, especially when it’s seeping out of your house.

In an effort to increase energy efficiency, the City of Kelowna has partnered with the Okanagan Regional Library and FortisBC to help residents see the areas of heat loss in their homes so they can make upgrades, reduce their energy use and heating bills and make their home more comfortable.

“Improving the energy efficiency of homes is also one of the ways to meet Kelowna’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets,” said Chris Ray, community energy specialist with the City of Kelowna.

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Through the See the Heat Program, Kelowna residents can take out a thermal imaging camera from the Okanagan Regional Library to identify where heat loss is happening in their home.

On the coldest day of 2020, on Jan. 14, natural gas use increased by 50 per cent across the province compared to the previous Tuesday and was 75 per cent higher than your average January day. Use on Fortis BC’s electric system was also up by 35 per cent that day compared to the previous week. This shows the importance of having your home properly insulated.

In addition to the thermal imaging camera that connects to a smartphone or tablet, participants will receive a free draft-proofing kit containing electrical switch and outlet draw insulators, window insulation and weather stripping for doors or windows.

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Residents also qualify for instant discounts from FortisBC on items such as door sweeps, foam tape and caulking at Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and the Home Depot until Mar. 13.

“We are very happy to be part of this project to enable library cardholders to improve the efficiency of their homes. I truly hope people will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity,” said Michal Utko, director of marketing and communications with the Okanagan Regional Library.

“This program is a fantastic way to empower Okanagan residents to understand how their home uses energy, find ways to make it more efficient and save money in the long run.”

Kelowna residents with an Okanagan Regional Library card in good standing can visit www.orl.bc.ca and search “Home Energy Kit” to reserve a camera from the Mission, Downtown or Rutland branch. The cameras can be borrowed for up to seven days.

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