Summer Refresher on Home Rebates: Save Energy in Your Home

We have talked about them before, and they are still around: rebates! Get your government funded upgrades for your home. We are a window company, but we know that you may be looking at a whole assortment of different upgrades. Just so you know, there are rebates for all types of home improvements and appliances. While windows are usually the topic de jure around these parts, we know that we have a diverse customer base for whom cutting costs is top of mind.

Who Provides These Rebates?

The rebates programs are an investment from the utility companies in partnership with the federal and provincial governments. Together these partnerships have formed the CleanBC fund here in our province; on the larger scale, we have the Canada Greener Homes Initiative. Your tax dollars and current utility bills are providing the funds for these programs so you might as well take advantage of them while the funds last.

Why are Rebates Being Offered?

To put it simply there are two prongs to this approach: Canadian Products and Canadian Jobs. The green energy initiative are nice, don’t get me wrong, but these programs are creating jobs in manufacturing, trades, and green technology spaces. Your buy-in as a consumer also indicates your commitment to the environment (or your wallet – synonyms in this context). This is politics done right: support the buying power of Canadians, build Canadian Jobs, and save Canadians money. A win-win-win scenario that all parties can claim to have helped build.

What are the Home Rebates Rules

Let us start with the big picture and narrow it down. There are two programs: the Federal Canada Greener Homes Initiative and the Provincial CleanBC program. Each of these programs has different requirements and different timelines. We have written an example for windows, which is still accurate if you want a specific example.

Generally, you can do both at once by following this timeline:

  1. Qualify your home with an Energy Evaluator Inspection
  2. Get quotes for the products and services recommended
  3. Ensure that the products match the rebates – see “NRCan Codes” below
  4. Select a vendor to provide the products and installation
  5. Contact your Energy Evaluator for the post-installation Evaluation
  6. Fill out the paperwork for both programs simultaneously

That is our patent-pending, sure-fire QGESCF method. Internally we refer to this as simply the “Kafka” method.

What If I Can’t Afford The Products Even With the Rebates?

You need to know about the Income-Qualified Program (referred to as IQP) for the CleanBC program. Many companies or contractors are registered as able to perform high-efficiency installations. Independent bodies qualify the products and services that these providers offer. If they meet the high bar of entry, then CleanBC may elect to add them to their list of contractors []. The Federal Program does not currently have an income-qualified pathway.

You can qualify for a larger rebate depending on the income level of your household compared with how many people live in your home. Those in the Income Level 1 bracket can qualify for a 95% rebate while those in Income Level 2 can qualify for a 60% rebate. While there is a lot of scrutiny over this program, if you qualify for the regular rebates, and your income is within the ranges on the table below, you will likely qualify for the IQP program. Follow this link for the Qualifications PDF.

Number Of People In Your Household
Including Children
Household Income – Level 1Household Income – Level 2

What Are the Rebates for Renovation Projects?

There are wide ranges of products that qualify for rebates. All of these different categories have different levels of rebates depending on the types of products available. These rebates are all aimed at making your home use less energy. That can be from sealing your home from the elements or that could be from you using less electricity to heat your home. The end goal is the same: to reduce your energy bills. Through the regular qualification, the smallest rebates start at $50 for a mid-efficient window and go as high as $6,000 towards a central duct rework.

There is also an incentive for you to access multiple rebates at the same time! If you complete two eligible upgrades within the prescribed timeframe, the Provincial government will chip in an additional $300. Consider that it is in the best interest of your wallet to do upgrades all at once and talk with your energy adviser about which upgrades will be the best for your home. Maximize your return to minimize your bills! There is also a $40,000, interest-free loan available if your home is qualified for the Federal program.

Enough Preamble; What Products Qualify‽‽‽

All right, All right… here is what you came to read:

These Products Qualify For Rebates on Their Own

Attic Insulation250-1800Minimum 20% Area
Cathedral or Flat Attic Insulation250-600Many Conditions Apply
Exterior Wall Insulation R7.5660 – 3300Prorated by Coverage
Exterior Wall Insulation R13760 – 3800Prorated by Coverage
Exterior Wall Insulation R201000 – 5000Prorated by Coverage
Exposed Floor Insulation350Minimum 120 Square Feet
Foundations120-240 or 400Depends on House Type
Basement Wall R10210 – 1050Prorated by Coverage
Basement Wall R22+300 – 1500Prorated by Coverage
Basement Wall Upgrade R7.5 to R12660
Crawlspace Insulation R101040Semidetached and Rows are Prorated
Crawlspace Insulation R231300Semidetached and Rows are Prorated
Crawlspace Ceiling Insulation R24800
Air Sealing to Target550
Air Sealing +10%810
Air Sealing +201000
Windows and Doors50 – 350 eachDepends on U-Value
Ground Source Heat Pump – Full System5000
Replace Heat Pump – Pump3000
Air Source Heat Pump New Install2500Two indoor Head Units
Air Source Heat Pump install or replace4000Three indoor Head Units
Cold Climate Heat Pump5000Many Conditions Apply
Water Heater Heat Pump1000
Solar Panels1000/KW

These Must be Combined With Other Rebates

Batteries for Photovoltaic systems1000For Standby Power to Home
Roofing Membrane150
Foundation Water=Proofing875
Moisture-Proofing crawlspace600
Smart Thermostat50

How Do I Compare My Quotes?

NRCan Numbers. Every product that qualifies for rebates must be registered with the Federal government bodies called Natural Resources Canada (hence NRCan). When we register products, independent laboratories test the products in standard formats to make the comparisons as easy to evaluate as is possible. Different products will have different values tested, but they will all be the same values and tests for a given product. Obviously, I am most well versed in windows. Our comparisons usually have two important values, which are the U-value (the window’s thermal resistance) and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (how much sunlight will affect your home). When you look up a product on the NRCan registry that is how consumers are to compare windows.

Anything Else I Should Know?

Your energy adviser is — at all times — supposed to be an independent party providing you with a consultation about how to best retrofit your home. They will provide you with a report that shows you a breakdown of your energy use and can roughly evaluate how much energy different products will save you in energy usage. This is the best tool you have to make an informed decision. In our experience having seen many such reports, windows are usually one of the best upgrade opportunities, however…

This window company’s blog has an implicit bias: we want you to buy our windows.