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CBT funds energy efficiency upgrades for affordable rentals

The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has given out over $2.8 million to fund energy efficiency upgrades on affordable rental housing buildings across the region.

CBT officials said the projects will benefit 371 individual units across 23 buildings in 11 communities.

“There are so many reasons this work is important, including helping affordable housing operators keep their energy costs down, and help keep rents affordable,” said Ulli Mueller, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits, CBT.

“Add to that reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing less to climate change and simply keeping tenants comfortable, and you can see how steps like these have broad positive benefits.”

Projects include upgrades such as windows, boilers and installing LED lighting.

CBT officials said this will lead to an estimated energy savings of about 1.49 million equivalent kilowatt hours per year.

“This translates to a savings of approximately $160,000 in annual operating costs and a sizeable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Trust.

The funding comes from a partnership between CBT, BC Housing and the BC Non-profit Housing Association.

Details about some of the projects can be found below.

Cranbrook – ʔAqantⱠanam Housing Society – $109,270

CBT officials said the ʔAqantⱠanam Housing Society will use its grant funding to complete energy retrofits to its 12-unit Hillcrest Heights apartment block along with three individual rental homes.

“The ʔAqantⱠanam Housing Society’s main priority is to maintain or improve the quality of life of our tenants,” said Cecilia Teneese, Executive Director.

“We achieve this by providing a high level of service for housing that includes climate adaptation—designing building systems that can adapt to climate changes; affordability—using energy-efficient systems to lower energy costs; and reliability—ensuring that all essential needs for a safe and comfortable home are met.

Work will include upgrading a boiler and hot water tank and installing heat pumps.

“Altogether, the current upgrades will reduce utility costs and maintenance, increase energy efficiency, lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide cooling for tenants in summer,” said Teneese.

The ʔAqantⱠanam Housing Society offers several affordable housing options, mainly for Indigenous people.

Nakusp, New Denver and Revelstoke – Halcyon Assisted Living Society – $368,890

Trust officials said the Halcyon Assisted Living Society will use its grants to upgrade rental homes for seniors in Nakusp, New Denver and Revelstoke.

“These effects will have an everlasting impact on the overall quality of the environment of these facilities,” said Tim Payne, Executive Director.

Work will include upgrades like hot water tanks, insulation, heat pumps and lighting at Halcyon House (Nakusp), Dr. Brouse Lodge (New Denver) and Moberly Manor (Revelstoke).

“The money saved through the implementation of this grant will make it more affordable for non-profits like us to operate and stay viable,” said Payne. “We feel extremely lucky to be able to access these initiatives, which will enable us to continue to provide efficient and quality services to the population we serve.”

The Halcyon Assisted Living Society aims to provide assisted living, independent living and affordable rental homes for seniors.

Salmo – Salmo Valley Estates – $128,380

Trust officials said the Salmo Valley Estates will use its grant funding to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems across 20 units for seniors.

“This upgrade will help reduce carbon fuel consumption and reduce amperage draws, as well as provide better performance and comfort to our residents year-round,” said Melanie Cox, Manager.

The estates, run by the Salmo & Area Supportive Housing Society, allow seniors to enjoy independent, active living.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to actualize cost savings and use solutions that reduce the impact on climate while increasing comfort for our tenants,” said Cox.

You can see the rest of the projects and their funding amounts here.


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