As of April 1, 2016, an amendment to the Manitoba Building Code will mandate the residential use of drain water heat recovery (DWHR) units in new homes. Following an RFQ, Manitoba Hydro announced that EcoInnovation Technologies would supply the DWHR units for its province-wide DWHR for New Homes Program. The intent of the program is to drive adoption and develop industry proficiency with the technology in advance of the coming code amendment.
The Manitoba Hydro DWHR rebate reimburses the full cost of the ThermoDrain installation to builders of single detached, townhouses or row houses utilizing electric domestic hot water heaters. The program is intended to generate energy savings and to accelerate industry’s adoption of the technology in advance of the coming code change. The rebate is available for projects with permits issued prior to code enforcment. Effective November 1, Manitoba Hydro is also offering a $150 installation credit toward the cost of labour, per residence/install.
Manitoba Hydro has been actively promoting the technology in advance of Manitoba’s new DWHR building code provision. “Each show home in our Parade of Homes Energy Innovation Tour has a drain water heat recovery system installed. Builders and tradespeople favour the technology because it’s easy to install, has no moving parts and has a very long life expectancy,” said Manitoba Hydro marketing specialist Allison Lund. “The payback period on the technology is generally under 10 years. Of course, if you have a house full of teenagers taking showers, the payback period accelerates significantly.”
Drain water heat recovery units are standard in energy efficient homes built and certified through programs such as Energy Star, R-2000, Net Zero, CRESNET, RESNET and Passive House.
For a non-exhaustive list of CSA B55.1 and B55.2 certified drain water heat recovery systems visit Natural Resources Canada’s website.