One of the easiest ways to reduce our energy consumption in Canada, is to increase our efficiency. More efficient structures and systems allow us to reduce our impact on the environment without changing our habits. In recognition of this, British Columbia is offering rebates for qualified upgrades that improve a home’s efficiency.
Live Smart BC is offering up to $7,000 in rebate to those who buy and install qualified, energy-saving upgrades for their property. Row homes, mobile homes and single family dwellings all qualify. Those who have participated in the ecoENERGY program may not use the same property to receive Live Smart BC rebates.
Though similar in nature, the Live Smart BC and the previous ecoENERGY program have some key differences; qualification for ecoENERGY’s rebates does not necessarily translate to qualification for Live Smart BC. Please ensure that your upgrades meet Live Smart BC’s requirements.
The first step to receive your rebate is to hire a Certified Energy Advisor. Your advisor will perform a “pre-retrofit” analysis of your property and hot water heater. After learning about the upgrades you plan to undertake, your advisor will document and photograph your existing equipment. Advisors must be able to access all rooms in your house. This first visit is sometimes referred to as the “D-Visit.”
Next, perform the upgrades you have decided on. Qualified upgrades include insulation in the attic and basement, window and door upgrades, space heating equipment upgrades and water heating equipment upgrades. Upgraded equipment must have a better energy rating than the previously installed equipment; for example, an upgrade to a tankless water heater or a gas water heater would be eligible, but an upgrade to a conventional water heater might not.
Used equipment, even it has a higher energy rating than your old equipment, does not qualify for this program. All installations and upgrades must meet local by-laws and codes. Additionally, participants may only apply for one space heater upgrade. Those who perform two space heater upgrades or installations will be given a rebate for the more expensive one.
After you have performed your installations and upgrades, contact your Certified Energy Advisor to conduct your “post-retrofit” energy assessment. By examining your equipment, ensuring that it is in use, documenting your equipment and photographing it, the advisor will verify that your upgrades and installations have been performed in a manner compliant with Live Smart BC’s requirements. Your advisor will verify that attic insulation upgrades provide 100% insulation, verify that your heat source is functioning and inspect your tankless water heater or gas water heater. Also called an “E-Visit,” this assessment must be performed within eighteen months of your D-Visit or by March 31, 2013, whichever comes first. Your advisor will submit your application.
We are all looking to take steps to reduce our energy consumption to improve British Columbia, and there has never been a better time to make upgrades. Be sure to take advantage of Live Smart BC to reduce the cost of upgrading old equipment or installing new equipment.