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Local couple breathes easier with energy-efficiency upgrades

Theresa and Carl MacLeod.
Theresa and Carl MacLeod.

Theresa and Carl MacLeod have lived in Barneys River all their lives. In 1985, they built a family home on the same road where Carl grew up.

Like many Nova Scotian families, they have a son, Paul, works in Fort McMurray.

Like many Nova Scotian families, they have a son, Paul, works in Fort McMurray.

While visiting his parents, he noticed the old family home was in desperate need of work. It was cold and damp, costing his parents a lot of money to heat in the winter.

Paul and his girlfriend recommended applying for HomeWarming, “because they knew we couldn’t afford to do the work ourselves,” said Theresa.

HomeWarming helps low-income homeowners in Nova Scotia complete energy-efficient upgrades, such as insulation and draft-proofing, at no cost to them. The program is delivered by Efficiency Nova Scotia and Clean Foundation with funding support from the Province of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power.

“We were accepted and before we knew it the work was completed, just in time for the cold weather,” said Theresa.

The house is heated by oil and wood stove. On average, the MacLeods were paying $1,800 annually to keep the house warm. The home had never been properly insulated, and high construction costs prevented the work from being done throughout the years. “The prices of wood and oil just kept going up and we didn’t know what we were going to do from one year to the next,” said Theresa.

High heating cost wasn’t the only reason the MacLeods needed the work done. Carl suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that forces him to take oxygen a few times a day and has limited his mobility. His comfort and well-being are top concerns for Theresa.

“We’re not retirement home material. We want to be in this home as long as possible,” said Theresa. “The work that has been done is allowing us to stay here and made it more comfortable for my husband in his condition.”

Trinity Maintenance Solutions, an Efficiency Trade Network member with Efficiency Nova Scotia, completed the work on the MacLeods’ house. In addition to insulating their attic, basement, headers and exposed floors with spray foam, they also installed a new dehumidifier in the basement.

“Our basement is unfinished and was always damp and smelled musty, which wasn’t the best environment for Carl,” said Theresa. “We used to have to light a fire in the wood stove just to dry the place out. You can notice a real difference now.”

Carl’s condition was also top of mind for Trinity. To limit the amount of dust while the work was being completed, all cutting was done outside and cleaned up every day.

“The guys at Trinity were so helpful and courteous,” said Theresa. “They gave us plenty of notice when they were coming, explained what they were doing when they were here, and were very respectful of Carl.”

On average, HomeWarming customers are expected to save up to $900 per year. For Theresa, that means saving on heating and a more comfortable and healthy home for Carl.

“I’m so glad Paul recommended this to us. There is no way we could have done this by ourselves,” said Theresa. “The next time Paul comes home he’ll notice a big difference. We already are.”



HomeWarming program


To improve a home’s efficiency and reduce heating and power bills, speak confidentially with a service adviser about eligibility for HomeWarming.

Call 1-877-434-2136 (toll free), or email

HomeWarming is a program that provides energy-saving home upgrades to income-qualified homeowners at no cost.

Clean Foundation delivers the electric heat portion of the program through a contribution from Nova Scotia Power.

Efficiency Nova Scotia delivers the program to non-electrically heated homes with funding from the Province of Nova Scotia.

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