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Government Grants & Incentives: British Columbia

March 12, 2012

Written by Melissa Carruthers
Follow Melissa on Twitter: @MelissaC_PFB
Ok so I am always getting asked about Government grants and incentives so I thought I would blog about it and because this turned out to be a lot of information I will go province by province so it may take a little while. As I am writing this blog everything is current and correct but make sure you check all the links to ensure what I am saying is current…

Let’s start Federally:

So the “ecoEnergy Retrofit” was closed in January 2012 for anyone who hadn’t had their homes audited (if you did you have 18 months from the audit to make improvements). For right now there are no federal grants available (that I could find anyway). If anything is added I will update my blog because the more money you can get back the better it is for you and the more you will do to help the environment.

Moving on to Provincial:

British Columbia:

LiveSmart BC (www.livesmartbc.ca ) offers a program for rebates. You can earn up to $7000 with improvements made to your home. However something to know is that if you have already collected money from LiveSmart BC on a property you cannot collect anymore. But if you have multiple pieces of property (rentals or vacations homes etc.) you can apply for each piece of property.  Also another thing to note is if you are a new owner of a house that has already participated in the LiveSmart BC program you are still eligible.

In order to participate in this program a certified Energy Advisor will need to come out a complete a Home Energy Audit. (Click for a link to a list of certified companies.)

Some important things to note:
1.    Homeowners must keep all documentation to be eligible… in short keep track of everything to maximize your benefit
2.    There is no tax on any incentives received
3.    You can only claim once through either Fortis or LiveSmart so if you claim both your Fortis rebate will be less.
4.    Basement Insulation: Basements are prorated based on the total wall area that is insulated. (which means:
5.    Windows are measured by rough openings (including Skylights and doors) even if multiple windows are in the same space they will only count as one (like a bay window).
6.    If you replace any appliances (washer/dryer/fridge) make sure it is more energy efficient then what you currently have
7.    Check out LiveSmart to see how the grants work for Furnaces and water and solar heating
8.    Where possible do the work yourself, as long as an audit has been done first you are free to complete the work.
9.    It will take 2 hours to initially complete the audit and one to complete the follow up
10.    This program is only open to existing homes and mobile homes. No condos, townhomes or new homes are allowed.
11.    Make sure you don’t start the upgrades prior to the Energy Audit. The building envelope needs to be intact to work for the blower door test.
12.    The program ends March 31, 2013 (so get on it)
How do I get the most bang for my buck?

1.    If you complete 5 of the required improvements you are a “LiveSmart Champion” and are eligible for an additional $500

2.    Air sealing of your home with an increase of 5-15% of base target will earn between $100-$500 and replacing your mechanical ventilation is between $800-$1000 depending on which area you live in. Replacing or adding a bathroom fan that is vented outside is between $50-$100

3.    Attic Insulation:
a.     Cathedral ceilings with no insulation you need to get to R14 to receive $600-$750. If there is existing and you increase between R28-R50 you can earn between $200-$750
b.    Existing batt or blow in insulation that is R12 or less will get you $600-$750. When you increase to R50 (All increases from existing R-values will get a rebate depending on what the R-value is it will be prorated)

4.    Exterior Walls:
a.    Add at least R9 for 100% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($1200-1500)
b.    Add at least R9 for 80% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($1000-1200)
c.    Add at least R9 for 60% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($700-900)
d.    Add at least R3.8 for 100% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($750-1000)
e.    Add at least R3.8 for 80% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($600-800)
f.    Add at least R3.8 for 60% of the building to achieve a minimum of R12 ($450-600)

To get this you will need to either remove your existing siding and replace it or go over existing stucco with insulation and cover with siding or even contact an acrylic stucco company and have them replace the existing stucco  your house because they use a rigid insulation like PlastiSpan to attach the stucco to so not only do you get a new look to your home you increase your R-value at the same time.

https://plastifab.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/renovating-your-home-with-plasti-fab-exterior-sheathing/

5.    Basement Walls:
a.    Add at least R23 for 100% of the surface area ($1000-1250)
b.    Add at least R23 for 80% of the surface area ($800-1000)
c.    Add at least R23 for 60% of the surface area ($600-750)
d.    Add at least R10 for 100% of the surface area ($500-625)
e.    Add at least R10 for 80% of the surface area ($400-500)
f.    Add at least R10 for 60% of the surface area ($300-375

So how do you get this? Well you have a couple of choices, I have attached links to 2 of my other blogs that go through step by step instructions on how to use PlastiSpan insulation to get you to the required R-values. They go through using just PlastiSpan rigid insulation and using both rigid and batt insulation to achieve the desired R-value.
https://plastifab.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/how-to-insulate-your-basement-walls-using-plastispan/

https://plastifab.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/using-multiple-types-of-insulation-for-different-applications/

6.    Windows
a.    Per window you can get between $20-70
b.    You must increase windows 75% to have it count towards “Champion” level

7.    Furnace/Boiler/Heat pump
a.    Depending on how efficient you go you can get between$250-2500. Check out www.LiveSmartBC.ca for the exact requirements
b.    **note you only get credit for your primary source of heat not for each one

Please make sure you visit LiveSmartBC.ca for any other questions you have, I have tried to get all the information I could on the program and simplify the government talk but I recommend you check it all out for yourself to in case there are rebates you would like that I may have missed.
Fortis BC and BC hydro also offer grants and rebates for changes you make to your home not related to insulation so check out the links below to see what you are eligible for.

BC Hydro: http://www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/   

Fortis BC: http://www.fortisbc.com/NaturalGas/Homes/Offers/Pages/default.aspx

Stay tuned for our next Plasti-Fab blog covering more grants and incentives for the various provinces.

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