|Mark & Mariah Raithby, Saint John Energy Customer|
|Spent: $ 14,770|
|Rebate : $ 3,550|
|Completed Upgrades: Air Sealing, Attic Insulation, Basement Insulation, Header Insulation, and 2 Mini Split Heat Pumps|
Mark and Mariah Raithby purchased their first home in August 2021 in a beautiful subdivision in Saint John, New Brunswick. They knew it needed many efficiency upgrades so they set in motion a plan to make their home more comfortable before the winter season set in.
They had always tried to build energy efficiency into their lives. They did this by turning off lights when not in use and closed blinds on sunny days to keep the heat out but they knew it was going to take much more to make their new home more energy efficient.
“When we first moved in, it was like waking up in a tent in the morning. The humidity was so high,” says Mark “ the house had poor insulation, and there was evidence of moisture problems in the corners of every room.”
The home did not have a vapor barrier in the basement, and the attic insulation had compressed over time causing gaps. “Heat was coming in during the summer and going out in the winter,” says Mark. “plus, the baseboard heaters did not provide consistent heat throughout our home."
This prompted the couple to speak to a neighbour who has an identical home. “They were seeing energy bills of 600 dollars a month or more in the winter.” says Mark, “Learning that, it became our number one goal to make the home more energy efficient. We knew if we didn’t, we’d be spending far more on heat than we did in our apartment.”
Mark learned from a friend, that NB Power offered programs that could help with the cost of upgrades. After a quick call to a customer care agent, the couple enrolled in the Total Home Energy Savings Program.
The Raithbys say the home audit helped identify potential upgrades and set them on the right path toward energy efficiency. Having some construction knowledge, Mark could carry out many of the upgrades on his own. He rented equipment to add blow-in attic insulation and crawl space spray foam. They also had basement header insulation added and attic air sealing. By doing some upgrades themselves, they saved enough money to add 2 mini-split heat pumps to their efficiency upgrades. This has helped maintain a constant temperature throughout their home.
The couple received $3,600 back through the Total Home Energy Efficiency Program. They also participated in the Federal Government's Greener Homes Program which allows for the stacking of incentives. With the rebates combined, it covered about half of the cost of their efficiency upgrades.
“We wouldn’t have done the upgrades as soon as we did if rebates were not available. ” Mark says, “ It would have taken us a lot longer to get to where we are today.”
Since the upgrades, the Raithbys say they have noticed a huge difference in home comfort. Mariah says “Our home is more enjoyable now. The floor isn’t cold anymore and the temperature is more regulated. No more cold spots. Plus, we’re saving 30% on energy bills which is a bonus!”
If they had to do the program again, they would in a heartbeat. “It was such a good experience and I’d recommend it to others." Mariah says “It was super easy to take part. Sending in the paperwork was simple, and the process moved along quickly. We had the rebates back in a few months.”
“The biggest bonus,” Mark says, “ isn't the money you get back in rebates, it’s the money you save on energy for years to come.”
The couple, who now have a newborn, plan to take what they've learned through this program to continue their efficiency journey. New windows and doors are in their future as is weather stripping to help keep drafts out. Their hope is this will improve their home’s efficiency even more.