Nova Scotians planning to build a new home can benefit from generous rebates, permanent energy savings and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions with the help of a new energy efficiency rebate program. The PerformancePlus program provides builders and homeowners with expert advice on new home plans to help build in better energy efficiency choices. “Energy-efficient homes make life more affordable for Nova Scotians by permanently reducing energy use and protecting against future energy price increases,” Bill Estabrooks, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, said today, Sept. 7. “They also reduce the environmental footprint of housing, and will help the province achieve its commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.” “The program also encourages new home construction, creating more local jobs for skilled trades and strengthening our province’s economy,” said Mr. Estabrooks. Rebates ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 will encourage Nova Scotians to build more energy-efficient homes. Rebate amounts are based on a home’s energy performance, as indicated by its EnerGuide rating. Homes must achieve a rating of 83 or above (on a scale of 0 to 100) to qualify for PerformancePlus rebates. “By participating in the Performance Plus EnerGuide evaluation process, homeowners and builders will be in a position to make informed decisions about the energy-efficiency features which will effect affordability, their comfort level and energy costs today and over the life of the home,” said Terry Watters of Sustainable Housing and Education Consultants. “You wouldn’t buy a car today without knowing the fuel mileage so why would you build a new house without knowing how well it’s supposed to perform?” An additional $200 rebate is available for PerformancePlus homes that are solar ready, and a $1,000 rebate is available if solar equipment is installed. PerformancePlus homes may also qualify for rebates through the province’s Solar Rebate Program and from Nova Scotia Power’s rebate program. PerformancePlus registration begins immediately. The program is capped at 1,200 homes, on a first-come, first-served basis. PerformancePlus replaces the EnerGuide for New Homes program for new entrants. “Our company has been building energy-efficient homes for a number of years and we see the value it provides to our clients,” says Tamara Barker Watson of Whitestone Developments. “Each home we build is EnerGuide rated and this shows our clients the commitment we have to providing them with energy savings. We are pleased to see the government further promote energy-efficient housing.” Nova Scotia is one of the first provinces in Canada to incorporate energy-efficiency requirements in the building code for new homes. This program encourages builders and Nova Scotians to build even more efficient homes. A PerformancePlus toolkit is available at www.conservens.ca/performanceplus or by calling 1-800-670-4636. The toolkit provides eligibility criteria and registration information, as well as useful information on a range of topics, including building an energy-efficient home, choosing a builder, and designing your home to use passive solar energy. To register for the program, contact AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service at 1-877-734-4674, the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association at 1-800-668-2001, or Sustainable Housing and Education Consultants Inc. at 1-877-722-2842.
The upstart run for Loyola Chicago making the Final Four last year delivered more than just excitement for fans of Sister Jean and the Ramblers.Loyola’s run will be worth at least $8.45 million to the Missouri Valley Conference over the next six years.It’s payable to the league from the NCAA, through a complex system of payouts funded largely by the lucrative deal for CBS and Turner Sports to televise March Madness.The system puts an exact price tag on bids and wins leading up to the Final Four. And once conferences are paid, they distribute money back to their member schools.UNITS, DEFINED“Units” are what the NCAA calls its tally of wins, automatic qualifiers and at-large bids that determine how much conferences are paid.Each distribution year is assigned a value for a single unit, which is then applied to units earned by conferences over the previous six tournaments.The NCAA paid conferences $216 million in 2018 — $273,500 per unit for tournament results from 2012-2017.The value of each unit will be $280,300 when payments are made in 2019 and $282,100 in 2020.HOW TO WIN UNITSThe units come from two funds. The Equal Conference Fund is a baseline through which the NCAA awards one unit to each of the 32 Division I conferences that have an automatic bid. Through the Performance Fund, the NCAA also awards a single unit to every team that makes the tournament via an at-large berth.There are 68 teams that make the tournament; each accounts for one unit just for getting in.Units are also awarded from the performance fund for teams that advance. One unit is awarded for every win until teams reach the Final Four. Wins in the semifinals or final don’t count for units.HOW $$ IS DISTRIBUTEDPayments are made each April to conferences. Most conferences share the money equally among members — the NCAA’s recommendation — though conferences ultimately decide for themselves how to split the earnings. In some leagues, the school that earned the unit will get a bonus. Also, many smaller leagues share the revenue by funding the conference office or league-wide initiatives.From 1997 through 2018, the Big Ten Conference has been paid the most at $340.4 million, while the Southwest Athletic Conference has earned $25 million, nearly the minimum it can earn given that all leagues make money from their teams that qualify automatically.RECENT WINDFALLSHere’s a look at how much some of the most surprising mid-major Final Four runs have been worth to their conferences:— George Mason, 2006: The Patriots earned five units for the Colonial Athletic Association, worth $6.39 million.— Butler, 2010: The Bulldogs earned five units for the Horizon League, worth $7.46 million.— VCU, 2011: The Rams earned six units for the Colonial Athletic Association, going from the First Four to the Final Four, worth $9.12 million. VCU and George Mason move to the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2012.— Butler, 2011: The Bulldogs earned five units for the Horizon League, worth $7.6 million. The Horizon League has not earned more than one unit in the tournament since 2011.— Wichita State, 2013: The Shockers earned five units for the Missouri Valley Conference worth $7.9 million. Wichita State moved to the American Athletic Conference in 2018.CONFERENCE PAYOUTSHere’s a look at how much each of college basketball’s biggest conferences have been paid from 1997 to 2018:— Big Ten: $340.4 million.— Atlantic Coast: $316.3 million.— Big 12: $307.3 million.— Southeastern: $266.4 million.— Pac-12: $247.7 million.— Big East, 1997-2013: $245.4 million.— Big East, 2014-2018: $40.6 million.— American Athletic: $106.4 million.The figures reflect the split of the Big East, which was picked apart during realignment and reconfigured from 16 teams to 10.HOW WE KNOWSimple — we did the math.More specifically, The Associated Press analyzed more than $3 billion in payments distributed from 1997 through 2018. The current system began in 1991 and the NCAA provided the AP with unit values dating back to 1997, the earliest year for which it had reliable data.The AP calculated NCAA distributions, confirming figures since 2008 with detailed units and payouts provided by the NCAA, and applied unit values to tournament results from earlier years.The AP also used formulas where provided by conferences to estimate how money was shared by schools, before expenses.___Associated Press data journalist Larry Fenn contributed to this report.___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press