If we all make some changes to the way we use energy, we could make a significant difference to the economic and environmental future of Nova Scotia. That means more money in all of our pocketbooks and a greener future for Nova Scotians in every part of the province. The EnerGuide for Houses program includes expert advice and rebates for upgrades to new and existing homes, and includes help for low-to-modest income homeowners. Through this and other energy-efficiency programs, we are keeping our commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and making life better for families in every region of the province. Conserve Nova Scotia offers a variety of rebates, as well as financing programs to help homeowners save energy and money, and protect our environment. Nova Scotia Power also offers rebates and financing options for those planning to build or who have an existing home heated with electricity. Natural Resources Canada recently discontinued its ecoEnergy Retrofit-Homes Program for new entrants. As a result, homeowners entering the province’s EnerGuide program after March 31 are not eligible for federal rebates. I realize that this change is frustrating for many Nova Scotian families that intended to access this program to reduce their energy use and take action on climate change. It may also leave some people wondering if they can or should do an energy efficiency evaluation on their home if the federal rebate is no longer available. The answer is yes. If you’ve registered after midnight on March 31, 2010, you can still have an initial assessment completed on your home, and can access provincial rebates of up to $1,500. Rebates of up to $4,200 are also available from Nova Scotia Power for energy efficient upgrades to electrically-heated homes. Financing options are available as well. Anyone registered by midnight March 31 can still access federal, provincial and Nova Scotia Power rebates. As well, our solar program offers a combined $2,500 rebate from Conserve Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power for residential water heating projects that can be financed through the EnerGuide program’s interest-free loan. Energy efficiency evaluations are completed by certified energy auditors employed by service providers throughout the province. The $150 evaluation fee is a smart investment that will pay for itself over time. It provides valuable information to help homeowners reduce their energy and water use and provides an opportunity to save money on fuel and utility bills. If you own a home, I encourage you to call a service provider in your area to book an EnerGuide evaluation today. Take advantage of this great opportunity to save energy and money, increase the comfort and value of your home, and reduce your impact on the environment. For more information on EnerGuide programs for new or existing houses, visit www.itstartswithme.ca or call the EnerInfo line at 1-800-670-4636. -30-
The Canadian Navy on Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Moncton stopped by Hamilton on a two-day visit to show people what it’s really like to be out at sea.From weapons navigation and their sleeping quarters, tour groups got a feel for what it was like to be in the navy.The ship’s central mission is to work with American allies to intercept drug traffickers transporting narcotics from the south to the north, focusing on the Caribbean.While they allowed visitors to fire the ship’s weapons using blanks, the Navy said they’ve never actually had to use the guns.Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Moncton will tour the Great Lakes for the next couple of weeks.The next stop is Prescott.