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Province doubles home energy rebates

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:19 PST, Wed January 6, 2021

Last Updated: 10:40 PST, Wed January 6, 2021

The province is doubling CleanBC Better Homes retrofit rebates for select home-heating and energy-efficiency upgrades.

The move is intended to support BC's economic recovery and help British Columbians save on energy costs.

"With many people continuing to work from home due to the pandemic, we're doubling popular CleanBC rebates for select home energy retrofits and upgrades," said Energy Minister Bruce Ralston. "Together with our partners, we are helping families switch from fossil fuels to clean energy and make their homes as efficient, comfortable and affordable as possible."

The CleanBC plan aims to reduce the environmental impact of existing buildings and to waste less energy. By using more clean energy and using it more efficiently in homes and buildings, British Columbians can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

"People want affordable options to heat their homes with clean energy to reduce pollution and help address climate change," added Environment Minister George Heyman. "By doubling our support through CleanBC, we're helping people improve the places they live with more incentives to make the switch to cleaner, more efficient technologies and supporting good jobs across the province as we recover from COVID-19."

Select residential rebates to switch to high-efficiency heating equipment, while saving energy and reducing greenhouse gases, have increased as follows:

• double the rebate from $3,000 to $6,000 when switching from a fossil fuel heating system to a high-efficiency heat pump;

• double the rebate from $1,000 to $2,000 when switching from a fossil fuel water heater to a heat pump water heater;

• double the rebate from $500 to $1,000 for an electrical service upgrade when switching from a fossil fuel heating system to a heat pump; and

• a $3,000 rebate on an interest-free loan when switching from a fossil fuel heating system to a high-efficiency heat pump and accessing the CleanBC low-interest financing program.

Applicants must pre-register for a promo code by March 31 and complete their upgrades by June 30.

British Columbians wanting to switch from fossil fuel-based heating to cleaner, more energy-efficient heat pumps also have access to low-interest financing as part of CleanBC. Depending on the type and efficiency of heat pump chosen by homeowners, the loans have interest rates as low as zero per cent over a five-year repayment period. The double rebate offer is being matched for the low-interest financing program for a limited time. Homeowners will automatically receive a $3,000 rebate on their loan for an eligible heat pump installed before June 30, without the need to register for a promo code.

In addition to these limited-time offers, two new programs have launched to further assist British Columbians in constructing and renovating more energy-efficient buildings. The Better Homes New Construction Program offers builders thousands of dollars for new residential construction in accordance with the BC Energy Step Code or for homes built with high-efficiency heat pumps. The Commercial Express Program provides financial incentives to builders who are retrofitting existing buildings, with a streamlined application process. Both programs are administered by BC Hydro.

Quick Facts:

• The CleanBC Better Homes Program is available to households around the province and includes low-income targeted offers.

• In 2019, 10 per cent of BC households were using heat pumps as their primary or secondary heating source, up from only three per cent in 2007.

• Program partners currently include the Government of Canada, BC Hydro, FortisBC, BC Housing and local governments throughout the province.

For double the rebate offer details, including specifics on how to apply, visit https://betterhomesbc.ca/rebates/cleanbc-double-rebate/

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