HomeZero Collective announced today that it’s looking for up to 15 homeowners in Vernon’s East Hill and the Foothills to be among the first to access clean energy retrofit funding and support – and demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of making the switch on a neighbourhood scale.
“We’re excited to be at the stage where we have the support of the Government of Canada and an industry-leading local partner to pilot our unique neighbourhood retrofit model,” said Amandeep Singh, founder of HomeZero Collective, a Vernon non-profit that started in 2020.
Singh led the extensive feasibility study that highlights how going through the process as a group of neighbours gives people the chance to switch to clean energy systems, such as heat pumps, with lower costs, faster delivery and quality assurance. It also aims to be a lot easier, with HomeZero Collective coordinating work performed by Okanagan Geothermal.
Last week, through the Green Municipal Fund, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities shared its support for HomeZero Collective’s pilot project, which launches in August by offering up to 15 homeowners the chance to access a $10,000-$30,000 subsidy – on top of a no-interest Greener Homes Loan of up to $40,000 to help finance the installations.
Homeowners then receive guidance from HomeZero as they choose their retrofit package: either geothermal or air source heat pump, plus hybrid electric hot water tank, solar panels and an electric vehicle charging outlet. Retrofits will be installed by the end of February 2024 and homeowners will see instant results saving money and reducing carbon emissions by 85 to 100 per cent.
“If you’re someone who has been thinking about climate change and switching to renewable energy, this is an amazing opportunity to make it more affordable and more doable,” said Keli Westgate, HomeZero Collective community engagement manager.
Westgate and Singh will speak at upcoming information sessions as they look to engage eligible homeowners in the two test neighbourhoods – Foothills and East Hill, chosen as they represent a wide range of homes – and begin the process this month.
“Our great hope is that with these learnings we can grow our reach across Vernon and inspire other communities across Canada to create a lower-carbon future,” said Singh.
Foothills and East Hill residents can visit HomeZeroCollective.com to learn more about the process and eligibility, and sign up to attend required information sessions being held at the library and online.