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Guest-Column

Cut your reno costs

With only a few more months of warm weather left, every home owner should be considering if they need to do any reno projects before the cold weather arrives. Whether you own a condo or a house, making it energy efficient before winter is a great way to not only invest in the resale value of your home, but also help you save on monthly energy bills. It’s really a win-win.

Costs & Loans & Rebates, Oh My!

The biggest concern people have when thinking about home renovations is obviously the price tag associated with the work involved, and with good reason. Some renovations can cost a pretty penny (or nickel now that the penny is defunct) for high quality results, not to mention the expense of new appliances. However there are several solutions to these issues. 

Loans

Don’t be scared off by the term. You can take out a personal loan from a trusted financial institution and with flexible rates and terms you can pay it back over time so the cost of renovations won’t hit your wallet all at the same time. Whether you need a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, this is a great way to not break the bank.

Rebates

Did you know that if you’re renovating your home to make it more energy efficient, you may qualify for rebates from utility companies? Visit your service provider’s website to find out more about the different rebates they offer. Examples of some rebates include $500 for a new electric heat pump, up to $1,000 on an Energy Star® water heater or receive $100 when you purchase an energy efficient washing machine. When you add up a few different upgrades, that’s a whole lot of nickels back in your piggy bank. 

Understanding the Numbers

It’s great to hear everyone talk about energy efficiency and saving money, but what does it actually mean to you, the consumer or homeowner? 

Simple. Based on a Natural Resources Canada report on BC residential energy use, just over 50% of homeowners’ energy use goes towards heating with approximately 25% of that same bill going towards heating water. Put another way, installing a water efficient shower head could save you $40 per year all on its own. So think about what an energy efficient washer and dryer, dishwasher and hot water tank can do for your annual utility bill. 

What Else Can I Do? 

Old windows are energy guzzlers. Because they let in heat in the summer and cold air in the winter, the windows in older homes are one of the biggest sources of wasted energy consumption and as a homeowner, you pay for that. So even though windows are a big ticket item, you will definitely see a big return on your investment when you realize how much money you were wasting on higher energy bills.

With the Okanagan winter around the corner, making updates during the summer is a great idea and shopping for energy efficient appliances before the big rush when temperatures start to drop may also yield you a pre-season discount. So not only will you be sitting pretty when Old Man Winter comes knocking, you’ll be laughing when you get your utility bills and see the savings. Savings that will help you repay the money you borrowed to update you home even faster.

Prospera Credit Union is a full service financial institution that prides itself on building relationships, we serve our members through sixteen branches; online and mobile banking; and a locally-based contact centre.

Updating your home or buying a new car? Investing in your RRSP, TFSA or consolidating debt?

Prospera Credit Union can help you. Visit us in branch or online at www.prospera.ca



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About the Author

From time to time Castanet.net publishes well written articles 250 - 500 words in length on various local topics.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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