Learn about energy efficiency programs


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Fort Garry

In the coming months, the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association, in partnership with Efficiency Manitoba, will host a series of online webinars for homeowners in Manitoba.

Apart from providing practical tips for improving energy efficiency in their homes, the goal of the webinars will be to educate homeowners about the existing rebates, grants, incentives and up interest-free loans of up to $40,000 available for energy efficiency upgrades through Efficiency Manitoba and the federal Greener Homes program. Homeowners will also learn about upcoming technologies, such as heat pumps and solar panels, as well as solutions to common issues in their homes, such as air quality and condensation on windows.

One of the speakers in these webinars will be a registered energy adviser (EA). EAs are specialists in rating home energy efficiency, and they provide guidance to homeowners interested in improving their home’s efficiency. EAs are registered by National Resources Canada to deliver EnerGuide rating systems (ERS) for new or existing homes. In short, an energy adviser is a third-party consultant who works closely with builders, renovators, and homeowners to improve and measure the energy efficiency of a home and help reduce energy consumption through better practices and using energy-efficient technology.

Photo by Helen Lepp Friesen

Registered energy adviser Nicholas Witoski at work.

Local register EA Nicholas Witoski enjoys talking to homeowners about practical solutions to making their homes more energy efficient. He is also excited about providing information about the free programs available.

“If you are going to renovate, you should consider energy efficiency for long-term saving and the comfort of your home,” he said

MEIA runs a registered EA training program in partnership with RRC Polytech and program partners which include the Manitoba Home Builders Association, Sustainable Buildings Manitoba, Manitoba Construction Sector Council, Efficiency Manitoba, and PrairieHOUSE Performance, with funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Greener Homes Initiative. Topics in the program include building science and the history of house construction in Canada. EAs learn to see a house as a system and how everything interconnects within it.

“Once the classes are completed, we need to pass two federal exams which then allows us to become registered energy advisers,” Witoski explained.

“We are then employed by service organizations, which are private companies that are certified by Natural Resources Canada to conduct the EnerGuide evaluations for homeowners. Service organizations contract EAs or hire them on a salary basis to conduct energy evaluations.”

As an EA, Witoski splits his day-to-day activities between fieldwork, evaluating the data, and determining the data-driven recommendations for homeowners to make the best decisions for their retrofits. With the EnerGuide information in hand, homeowners can then apply for grants, incentives, interest-free loans, and rebates.

Witoski said the most satisfying aspect of his job is “problem-solving with homeowners and coming up with tangible and cost-saving solutions.”

For more homeowner information and career opportunities on how to become a registered EA, visit meiaenergyefficiency.ca or meia.mb.ca

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