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January 6, 2017, 10:57 am

Vancouver Launches Thermal Imaging Pilot Program

City of Vancouver

VANCOUVER - The City of Vancouver is launching a thermal imaging pilot program to help single family homeowners identify heat loss and connect them with information on energy saving incentives that are available.

Recent research from both UBC and the University of Calgary has shown that thermal imaging of homes at a neighbourhood scale can be a reasonably accurate tool for identifying homes that can benefit from improved:

  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Air tightness

The City hopes to draw from the experience that other cities have had using thermal imaging to help detached houses find opportunities for improving their energy efficiency. In addition to the research done by UBC and the University of Calgary, thermal imaging has been used by Detroit and several smaller cities in the state of Massachusetts. Europe, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, and London have all undertaken thermal imaging projects.

Thermal images can show homeowners where their homes are losing heat, and direct homeowners how to get an energy assessment and incentives to fix it.

Often in a thermal image, when:

  • Something is hot, the image is bright yellow
  • Something is cold, it shows up as dark blue
  • Heat is leaking from a home, it shows up as bright yellow
  • The image shows the temperature over the surface of a house but does not show anything inside the home.

This tool is a cost effective and non-invasive way to help homeowners quickly identify areas of their homes need that need to be updated. Depending on weather conditions, the imaging could begin as early as January 15, 2017.

The neighbourhoods that have been identified to pilot the program based on their location in the city are:

  • Strathcona
  • Hastings Sunrise
  • Dunbar-Southlands
  • Riley Park
  • Victoria Fraserview

The majority of homes are owner occupied and they represent a diversity of home ages.

Vancouver will be providing free thermal images to approximately 3,000 homes that have the greatest opportunity for energy savings. These homeowners will also be provided information on incentives offered by companies like BC Hydro and Fortis, to encourage them to retrofit their home and potentially save hundreds of dollars annually in heating bills.

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