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OKI experts joining forces with FortisBC to find home insulation upgrades that save you money

Reduce your utility bills

No one looks forward to the arrival of those pesky utility bills each month, but there may be some good news on the horizon. FortisBC is partnering with your Okanagan Insulation Services experts on a project that should help achieve a reduction in our household energy usage and costs.

FortisBC has launched its Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Program, which will explore various building upgrades to improve the home efficiency rating of 20 homes and four multi-unit residential structures across the province. OKI has been invited to participate in this program by consulting on—and then installing—the critical home insulation upgrades needed for two selected projects in Kelowna and Kamloops.

OKI project manager Meagan Meyer is thrilled its team is part of the initiative.

“We’ve got an established relationship with FortisBC,” she says. “And we are honoured that they are trusting us to work on this with them as industry experts to advise on how to best upgrade the home insulation.”

The various energy retrofits in this pilot project will look at older homes across the province and see how improvements to the buildings’ envelopes and mechanical systems can help reduce energy consumption and therefore our bills. The experienced teams at OKI are well aware that older buildings typically suffer from low quality home insulation, windows and other factors that contribute to home energy efficiency. Many structures built prior to 1990 have insufficient home insulation that simply cannot manage the warmer summers and colder winters we are experiencing. It’s important for homeowners to remember that home insulation acts as a thermal barrier, giving you that protective blanket and holding the temperature you need inside.

“We see older homes that contain below R10 insulation in their attic, and that means you’re getting barely any temperature retention,” Meyer says. “Really, R50 is the minimum standard in the attic today.”

Upgrading old or rotten home insulation makes additional financial sense when you think of how hard your furnace or air conditioner has to work during their respective seasons to keep your indoor temperature steady and comfortable. Modern home insulation can extend the life of these important features in your home if you’re not constantly changing the thermostat, saving you even more money on replacement or repairs.

You may be skeptical that FortisBC is actually looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption and save money. However, it’s essential that our energy emissions are reduced to meet climate action goals and to ensure a sustainable supply of energy for everyone in the future. If successful, the Retrofit project will reduce homeowner energy use and associated GHG emissions by at least 50%, leading to smaller utility bills for all of us.

"Customers who choose to sign up for low-carbon and renewable gases such as renewable natural gas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further," according to FortisBC.

Whether they’re advising on an important FortisBC project or local homeowners, your OKI professionals emphasize the critical role of education in promoting the importance of upgraded home insulation. After all, it’s a product often overlooked that only becomes a priority during renovations or attic exploration. The highly trained OKI experts will gladly guide homeowners on the right insulation type, be it batt, blow-in or spray foam, ensuring informed choices for optimal efficiency around the house.

And because your OKI installers are registered contractors with the Home Renovation Rebate Program, they can recommend and help secure generous rebates for those wishing to do a home insulation upgrade. For example, you can take advantage of the current FortisBC and BC Hydro programs and save up to $5,500 with rebates for qualifying insulation upgrades and also access up to $5,600 in grant funding through the Canada Greener Homes Grant. Those are huge savings. And with luck, the FortisBC Retrofit pilot project will shine a light on how important modern home insulation is so it could help secure even better rebates in the future.

Your OKI home insulation experts cannot wait to get started on the Interior BC projects later this year, and it coincides nicely with a move to a new office and outdoor space on Totem Avenue. The new location is more central, with plenty of room to expand the team, along with a larger yard for stocking extra materials to ensure there are no supply issues.

The colder weather is fast-approaching, and your trusted OKI home insulation professionals are standing by, ready to help you with your essential home energy efficiency goals. Take the leap and reach out for a free quote to see how you can have both your coziest winter yet and also be prepared for the hot summer ahead.

Okanagan Insulation Services, which has been family-owned and operated since 1973, is a leading full-service insulation contractor specializing in new construction, renovations and upgrades—no matter the size.

“You can get an upgrade any time of the year,” Meyer says. “It’s a long-term benefit to you in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Whenever you get it done, it’s never too late.”

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Phantom Creek Estates unveils its exclusive holiday bundles that are sure to please

Holiday wine bundles arrive

The holiday season is upon us, and Phantom Creek Estates is ready to make yours a memorable one.

The distinguished, Oliver-area winery recently revealed its exclusive, limited-time 2023 holiday wine bundles, perfect for both wine aficionados and culinary enthusiasts. These selections, available now for online purchase, feature an impressive array of wines, including special Grand Cru Club offerings. Each bundle has been meticulously crafted to cater to the diverse tastes of Phantom Creek Estates’ clientele.

The four holiday bundles from Phantom Creek are more than just gifts; they represent a unique taste of the acclaimed B.C. winery’s exceptional vintages and craftsmanship, embodying its dedication to excellence and fine wine.

Catering to all preferences, Phantom Creek has designed gift sets with additional treats for bubble lovers and epicureans. The Sparkling Bundle includes two remarkable sparkling wines paired with a sabre for a dramatic uncorking experience. It features the 2017 Sparkling Brut, a blend of Chardonnay's vivacity and Pinot Noir’s depth, and the Brut Reserve, a Chardonnay-dominant sparkling wine aged in neutral barriques for 11 months, offering a rich complexity.

For food lovers, the Chef’s Choice Bundle is a dream come true, showcasing the 2020 Malbec and the vibrant, small-lot 2021 Viognier. This bundle is enhanced with two thoughtful additions: a copy of the Okanagan Eats Cookbook, signed by Phantom Creek chef Alessa Valdez, and her specially crafted spice rub, ensuring an elevated culinary experience at home.

Phantom Creek Estates 2023 holiday gift bundles are:

Organic Bundle ($110)
2020 Organic Pinot Gris*
2021 Organic Riesling

Chef’s Choice Bundle ($199)
2020 PCV Malbec
2021 Viognier
Okanagan Eats cookbook, autographed by chef Alessa Valdez
Chef Alessa’s spice rub

Sparkling Bundle ($299)
2017 Brut*
2017 Brut Reserve*

PCV Syrah Vertical Bundle ($345)
2017 PCV Syrah*
2018 PCV Syrah*
2019 PCV Syrah*

*typically a Grand Cru Club exclusive product

The winery’s Christmas gift to you is complimentary shipping on all orders, adding an extra layer of convenience and value. Place your order for the Phantom Creek Estates’ 2023 holiday bundles on its website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Check out Dockside Marine Centre boats and support food bank at same time

Dockside hosting boat show

It hasn’t snowed yet, but it’ll be boat season before you know it.

Dockside Marine Centre has decided now is the perfect time to get you into the boating mood, even if spring is still a few months away. The West Kelowna company has cleared out some of its off-season storage centre and will kick off its Winter Indoor Boat Show and Sale on Friday. Dockside's new general manager, Taylor Doll, is inviting anyone and everyone to come on out, meet the staff and see all the latest in marine vessel technology at its tow and stow centre, located at 1040 Stevens Rd. Free snacks and beverages will be available.

And in a commendable act of community spirit, Dockside has partnered with Central Okanagan Food Bank for this event. The admission to the show is a non-perishable food item, with the aim to fill one of the company’s fishing boats. Once it is full, Doll and his team will literally tow the boat to the food bank’s headquarters.

The show is designed to be an all-encompassing experience. Visitors can explore, step inside and truly get a feel for the boats on display. Doll emphasizes the event is not just for browsing; it’s an excellent opportunity for those considering a boat purchase, with special incentives and winter deals available.

“We’re excited,” Doll says. “It’s something that’s new to us and new to the marine industry in West Kelowna, because I can’t say we’ve seen it happen before."

The show is a chance to explore the latest advancements in marine technology, including new engines, lighting and stereo systems. The indoor setting provides a more intimate and less hectic environment than the annual spring boat show that is held on Okanagan Lake.

“It’s an opportunity that’s less intimidating than the boat show that’s on the water,” Doll says. “It’s a little more intimate. It’s indoors. It’s winter. So people are kind of winding down and relaxing, trying to stay warm. And to be on a boat in our indoor facility is a unique experience in itself.”

Dockside Marine Centre’s inventory for the show includes the latest models from Chaparral, Harris and Avalon pontoon boats. This lineup will be on display for about a month and a half before being replaced with a selection of used boats, ensuring a fresh and varied collection in the new year.

An added bonus for visitors on Friday’s opening day will be the distribution of coupons from Canada Boat Safety, which can be used towards obtaining a pleasure craft boating licence. This initiative emphasizes Dockside’s commitment to responsible and informed boating.

The food drive will run until Dec. 18.

More information about Dockside’s Winter Indoor Boat Show and Sale can be found on its website here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Craft Culture Holiday Market set to go this weekend at Kelowna's Prospera Place

Holiday Market this week

Kelowna’s largest and most anticipated holiday market is almost here.

The 10th annual Craft Culture Holiday Market will take place this Friday (Dec. 1), Saturday (Dec. 2) and Sunday (Dec. 3) at Prospera Place. It will feature an expanded lineup of more than 200 local crafters and artisans, showcasing the best in local craftsmanship and creativity.

The market will feature a wide array of products, from handcrafted artisanal goods to one-of-a-kind creations, all thoughtfully crafted by talented local vendors. Soaps, pottery, clothing, food, decorations and toys are only a few of the goodies that will be on sale.

You can check everything off your holiday shopping list in one convenient place, all while supporting local businesses.

For the last two years the market has been extended to three days to manage the large crowds, and event organizer Karalyn Lockhart suggests visiting in the afternoon or evening, as there are usually fewer lines after 3 p.m. She also recommends allocating two to three hours to experience the entire market experience, which will be located on both the Prospera Place floor and its concourse. The vendor map can be found here.

The market opens Friday at 1 p.m. and will close for the day at 7 p.m. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

General admission is $7, but a weekend pass can be had for only $10. Children under 15 can get in for free.

Tickets are available online at craftculture.ca or at the door. Those paying at the door can do so using only debit or cash.

Craft Culture Holiday Market has teamed up with Castanet on a contest that will give away a prize package valued at $300 to one lucky winner. The package includes four single-day tickets to the Holiday Market along with products from seven of the market vendors.

The contest is free to enter and can be done so here.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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