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Home energy audits check every corner for potential energy loss. ((CBC))

Home energy inspectors on P.E.I. are booking into January and February for people looking to take advantage of provincial help in improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

The province's energy audit program was launched this spring, and there is also federal money available for improving homes. But all the programs first require an energy audit of the home to determine what work needs to be done, and to provide a baseline for how much the energy efficiency of the home is improved.

But getting that audit done before winter now seems unlikely. The province was surprised by the number of people who applied for the program. CBC News spoke to energy auditor Rick Strang on Thursday as he performed an inspection that was booked in May.

"The demand is high and it just seems to be increasing and we're trying to address that as best we can," said Strang.

The audits are done by three private inspection companies, and the province is asking them to bring in extra staff from the mainland, but the companies say auditors there are busy too. The province is also asking the federal government to speed up training and certification of qualified auditors.

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Mike Proud of P.E.I.'s office of energy efficiency can't make any promises about the waiting list. ((CBC))

"I hope they'll produce results. I don't know yet," said Mike Proud at the provincial office of energy efficiency. 

"We'll just have to sit down and talk and try to hammer something out with all parties involved. How quickly we will reduce wait times, it's hard to say. It may be a month or two before we can get something in place."

About 1,000 island homes have been audited since the program began, and hundreds of people remain on waiting lists. While some people will miss out on savings this winter, the program is scheduled to continue for years to come.