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Energy Efficiency Programs/Financial Incentives – British Columbia





This is the third post in this series of energy-efficiency programs and financial incentives, this time with a focus on British Columbia.

BC Hydro Programs

Fridge Buy Back Program

BC Hydro offers the Fridge Buy Back Program to encourage residential customers to turn in their inefficient second fridges (the fridge needs to be between 10-24 cubic feet and in an operating condition) and get a $30 rebate, while helping to recycle and protect the environment. A residential customer can arrange for free pickup by calling (604) 881-4357 or 1(866) 516-4357 outside of the Lower Mainland during business hours (9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday).

Net Metering

As already discussed in the first post of the series about Ontario, Net Metering is applicable to customers who generate more electricity than they use. Such customers can receive a credit to their utility account against their future bills. More details about eligibility, application process, etc. can be found at the link above.

Window Rebate Program

This program is similar to the one discussed in the second post of the series about Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Window Rebate Program encourages homeowners to install ENERGY STAR® windows to take advantage of the rebate.

Fortis BC Programs

Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Rebate or Loan

A home with a GSHP installed and having a system design meeting required standards is eligible for the GSHP Rebate or Loan. A GSHP is used to provide both heat and cooling depending on seasonal needs. The rebate offered is $0.05 per kWh and a loan of up to $5000 can also be obtained at 4.9% financed over 10 years (pending credit approval).

Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) Rebate or Loan

Similar to the GSHP rebate or loan above, the ASHP program offers the same rebate ($0.05 per kWh) and loan ($5000 at 4.9% financed over 10 years pending credit approval). A qualifying installation must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14.5 or higher and a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of 8.2 or higher.

Home Improvement Program

Rebates are offered to residential customers who can provide evidence that they have converted to energy efficient products such as ENERGY STAR® windows, lighting, and appliances, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, and better insulation. The application form and the process involved to obtain the rebate can be found at this link. There is also a new home program available.

Water Heater Program

This initiative offers up to $500 in rebates for purchasing qualifying tankless water heaters and $1000 for natural gas condensing storage tanks. Hybrid technology heaters are also included in this program. A qualifying water heater must be purchased between July 6, 2012 and June 30, 2013 and installed by a gas contractor with BC Safety Authority. After installation, the customer can apply for the rebate with a copy of the invoice. It is worth noting that applications must be submitted within 60 days of the purchase date. These rebates can also be combined with LiveSmart BC rebates for home upgrades and new home incentives.

For a full list of programs currently available in BC, please visit this page and customize your search.

Do you know of other programs applicable to British Columbia? If you have applied for a rebate, do you have any tips for fellow readers?

About the Author: Clark works in Saskatchewan and has been working to build his (DIY) investment portfolio, structured for an early retirement. He loves reading (and using the lessons learned) about personal finance, technology and minimalism. You can read his other articles here.





2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. 1. SST

    How ironic that ‘B.C. Hydro’ and ‘financial incentives’ would be found in the same sentence. Their former execs (and Liberal government) certainly thought it was a good idea…for themselves. Now it’s the tax-payers who will be paying for years to come, despite any ‘energy efficiency programs’.

    As a side note, anyone pay attention to the Federal EEP?

    I participated when the Liberals were in power, had the blower test done on my house, etc. etc. I did ~10% of the work they recommended and still managed, somehow, to get a better score on the re-test than what they predicted. And more money back.

    I also participated when the Conservatives trashed the Libs program and started their own. Funny thing about this…the Cons used the EXACT SAME literature as the Lib program! Oh government shams! Had another blower test, which gave a lower result than the final test under the Libs (see above). Exact same test, lower number = faulty testing. Just meant more money back for me, again. Basically the whole thing is very weak.

    Then there was the “contractor” who did the testing. How it works is, you pay for both blower tests upfront. The contractor submits his paperwork and collects from the gov’t. At the time the Cons announced they were shutting down the Lib program, the contractor also shut his doors. Why continue? He already has his money! After many months and phone calls, eventually had to get the gov’t itself to do the second test.

    Happy home improvement!

    Thanks for all your digging, Clark.

  2. 2. D Lindsay

    Has anyone tried a tankless hot water heater? Our tank is about 8 years old now, so no doubt replacement is right around the corner. Thinking about going the tankless route, but not sure if the convenience factor is worth the additional cost.

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