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Posted: April 30, 2019

CleanBC efficiency rebates offer incentives

British Columbians making energy-saving improvements to their homes can save thousands of dollars with new CleanBC efficiency rebates, according to the provincial government.

“CleanBC efficiency rebates will save people money, create good jobs and help put B.C. on the path to a cleaner, better future,” said Premier John Horgan. “Helping people keep their homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter makes sense, and the efficiency they’re investing in will help B.C. reduce climate pollution.”

The higher rebates are part of a significant expansion of incentives under CleanBC’s Better Buildings program, which makes it easier and more affordable for British Columbians to choose energy-saving products and save money on home and business renovations.

Provincial incentives to help people switch to high-efficiency electric heat pumps for space heating have increased by $1,000, bringing the total rebate to $3,000, with additional incentives available in some municipalities. Similar incentives to upgrade doors and windows also increased by $1,000, bringing the total rebate for those upgrades to $2,000.

“We’re boosting heat pumps and other smart technologies because energy-efficient buildings are a key part of our cleaner future,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “This program will help us get to our CleanBC goal of reducing climate pollution, making B.C. cleaner and creating good jobs that support families and sustain our communities.”

The province launched CleanBC in December 2018 to reduce carbon pollution and make life better for people, an April 26 Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources media release explained.

The plan includes commitments to raise standards for new construction and encourage energy-saving improvements in existing homes and workplaces.

The province’s CleanBC plan provides up to $14,100 for a home and up to $220,000 for a commercial business to switch to high-efficiency heating equipment and to make building envelope improvements, while saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases.

Financial incentives are available for a variety of measures, including replacing fossil fuel (i.e. oil, propane or natural gas) heating systems with an electric air-source heat pump, improving insulation, upgrading to a high-efficiency natural gas furnace or installing improved windows and doors that minimize heat loss. For example:

* People who apply for an incentive can receive up to $3,000 (with additional incentives available in some municipalities) for replacing a fossil fuel (oil, propane or natural gas) heating system with an electric air-source heat pump ($1,000 more than before).

* Homeowners planning to upgrade their windows and doors to more energy efficient models may access up to $2,000 in incentives ($1,000 more than before).

* Homeowners can also apply for up to $700 in incentives for highest efficiency natural gas furnaces.

* Commercial building owners can receive up to $20,000 to complete energy studies that identify cost-effective improvements to their building and up to $200,000 for the improvements themselves.

The Better Buildings program (formerly called EfficiencyBC) is available to households and businesses around the province and includes low-income targeted offers.

Every dollar spent on energy efficiency programs generates between $4 to $8 of gross domestic product.

Energy efficiency in Canada improved by 25% between 1990 and 2014. This improvement helped avoid more than 85 million tonnes of carbon pollution and saved Canadians more than $38 billion.

Lead image from CleanBC

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