Local Kelowna company offers to install furnace for senior in need

Kenneth Larden and his family have been living without heating in their home for more than two years

A news story about an 80-year-old Kelowna man in need of a new furnace might have a happy ending after all.

After reading that Kenneth Larden and his family have been living without central heating in their home for more than two years, Blair Mechanical, a local plumbing, heating and air conditioning company, reached out to Larden and offered to install a new furnace free of charge.

“We got a call that they had no heat,” said Blair Husak, owner of Blair Mechanical. “I think they have five or six kids, so we agreed to go out and see what the situation was. We determined they really needed a new furnace and we wanted to help them out. It’s a good situation for everybody.”

The unfortunate situation also prompted Fortis to contact Capital News to share some information on what can be done in case there are others in Larden’s situation.

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According to the company, income-qualified homeowners may be eligible for a free furnace or insulation upgrade through Fortis’ energy conservation assistance program.

This program provides a no-cost assessment of the home, installation of basic energy-efficient upgrades like water-efficient fixtures, energy-efficient LED lights and basic draft proofing and also assesses the home to see if it’s suitable for a free furnace or insulation upgrade. Since January, FortisBC has provided over 200 customers with a furnace.

Another faster option for income-qualified customers who want to replace their old natural gas furnace or boiler, they can apply to for up to a $3,000 rebate on a furnace or a $2,000 rebate on a boiler.

“There is help available,” said Nicole Brown, corporate communications officer with FortisBC. “I know that people are just surprised sometimes and wonder why they are being offered for free? Well, it is part of our energy management program and we do have funding available to help people. It’s really unfortunate people are living in the cold when help is actually available.”

With temperatures dropping, Fortis encourages those who are struggling with heating their home to contact them for information at 1-888-224-2710. For more information visit fortisbc.com/ecap.

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