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Loan program for thermal imaging cameras may help Okanagan residents save money on energy bills

Click to play video: 'FLIR camera loan program' FLIR camera loan program
WATCH: The City of Kelowna has partnered with the Okanagan Regional Library and FortisBC in a new project that will help Okanagan residents save money by improving their homes' energy efficiency. – Feb 3, 2020

The City of Kelowna has partnered with the Okanagan Regional Library and FortisBC in a new project that will help Okanagan residents save money by improving their homes’ energy efficiency.

The project is called ‘See the Heat’, a new loan program for FLIR — or forward-looking infrared — cameras.

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At the heart of the program is a $300 FLIR camera, explained Chris Ray from the City of Kelowna, who explains the camera is partnered with an app and compatible with iPad, iPhone or Android systems.

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The camera, he said, allows homeowners to see where heat may be leaking from their homes

“You are going to download the FLIR ONE app,” he explained, “then, right away you should be able to access the thermal imaging camera.

“You are taking temperatures and making them visible to the eye.”

READ MORE: How to give your home an energy audit (2015)

Pointing the FLIR camera at an exterior door, Ray explained that differences in colour indicate differences in temperature, which can highlight areas in the home that are losing heat — and are thus less energy-efficient.

“A lot of people don’t really know the areas in their home that are energy-inefficient,” he explained.

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This new program could help residents see something much cooler than drafts in their houses. ‘See the Heat’ could potentially help residents see savings on their energy bills, too.

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As such, the second part of the project is a free weather-stripping kit that comes with the camera.

“Saving energy is good for your utility bills if they are able to save enough of it, and there are certain instances where reduced energy can help save greenhouse gas emissions,” Ray said.

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The entire program is being administered by the Okanagan Regional Library.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s new energy efficiency program could save you cash (2019)

“A lot of people can’t afford or don’t want to buy cameras like this, so they can come to the library and borrow it for free and then they can test their houses to see where the drafts are coming from,” said the Michal Utko of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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The City of Kelowna has a total of six cameras available for loan, three for iPhone and three for Android. One of each is available at the ORL’s three Kelowna branches.

The program has already probven immensely popular, with about 14 holds on the cameras. The only caveat? Your library card has to be in good standing.

So before you can start saving some money, you might just have to pay off some late dues.

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