Finding funding for capital projects can be difficult for small non-profits, as is maintaining a building’s assets while keeping tenant costs low. The Hudson’s Hope Health Care and Housing Society (HHHCHS) successfully navigated this balancing act while improving tenant comfort and building performance by replacing every window in their building. BCNPHA’s support helped HHHCHS tap into utility rebate programs to achieve their goal, with savings for future projects.
It started with a free BCNPHA Energy Audit last July at the HHHCHS seniors’ residence Silver Willow Court. Valerie Bashforth and Deborah Peck, former board members overseeing the retrofit, were quick to take advantage of BCNPHA assistance after the 2019 audit identified several potential energy conservation measures and funding opportunities. The building’s 26 drafty windows were the number one priority, as they were showing signs of deterioration and had stubborn hardware that was difficult for the building’s tenants to operate.
In collaboration with BCNPHA’s Asset Management department, Valerie applied for the Social Housing Retrofit Support Program (SHRSP). Through this program, FortisBC and BC Hydro provide rebates to support non-profit housing providers upgrade to eligible energy-efficient equipment. Since the society already had a contractor lined up to replace the windows, the process was simple. Thanks to Valerie’s efforts, the project received approval for rebates on the new triple-glazed high-performance windows they planned to install.
The triple-glazed windows “make sense for our tenants and for the bottom line as far as energy costs are concerned, but also for the planet,” said Deborah. “These are things that we all should be considering and I think are very necessary for our building.” The new windows will decrease energy consumption and improve tenant comfort for years to come.
Even with rebate dollars, raising enough money to cover the cost of a $40,000 retrofit is challenging in a small community. Deborah made it clear the costs of such a large project would not be passed on to the tenants: “We’re a low rent facility, so the only way you can do any of these major renovations is to raise money.”
The community pulled together to make the society’s dream a reality. Following months of hard work and support from local donors, the new windows were installed in September 2019. Deborah reported that the tenants are delighted, and find the new windows much easier to open and close.
A few months later, after working with BCNPHA to fulfill program requirements, the society received a SHRSP rebate of $3,670 – nearly 10% of the $38,000 project cost! The board is already planning to put the rebate savings to use to fund more improvements to the building. Up next, they plan to replace the building’s exterior doors, and improve the outdoor patio space with raised beds for tenants to grow their own garden.
The society would like to express their gratitude to everyone who contributed to the project, including local donors, industry, and the District of Hudson’s Hope.