Discussion 5 – Financial Incentives (Improving Buildings)



Financial Incentives

Retrofits make buildings more efficient, helping to save energy and reduce GHG emissions. However, they often require upfront costs, which can be a barrier to making needed upgrades.

To help households, businesses and the public sector offset the costs of energy-saving and emission-reducing retrofits, the province is developing a new incentive program to complement existing utility programs. For example, building owners could receive incentives to install the most efficient gas-fired heating equipment, switch to an air-source heat pump or improve the building’s envelope, for example by adding insulation or replacing windows.

Questions:

  • What was your experience accessing home renovation incentives?
  • What types of incentives or financing options would best encourage investments in energy efficiency or switching to low carbon heating equipment?

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95 responses to “Discussion 5 – Financial Incentives (Improving Buildings)

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    [-] Christine

    WE need the cleanest and most efficient building possible on this challenged coast. The most important initiative would be highly subsidizing clean heat – and abolishing any subsidy for dirty wood heat. In fact we really need to disallow any wood burning appliances or fireplaces going into any new buildings. With the volume of people that will be moving here – if we don’t stop allowing people to burn wood -the air pollution in winter will be completely untenable. Of course if an existing building is sold the appliance should be removed.

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    [-] Richard

    WE need the cleanest and most efficient building possible on this challenged coast. The most important initiative would be highly subsidizing clean heat – and abolishing any subsidy for dirty wood heat. In fact we really need to disallow any wood burning appliances or fireplaces going into any new buildings. With the volume of people that will be moving here – if we don’t stop allowing people to burn wood -the air pollution in winter will be completely untenable. Of course if an existing building is sold the appliance should be removed.

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    [-] Bill

    need the cleanest and most efficient building possible on this challenged coast. The most important initiative would be highly subsidizing clean heat – and abolishing any subsidy for dirty wood heat. In fact we really need to disallow any wood burning appliances or fireplaces going into any new buildings. With the volume of people that will be moving here – if we don’t stop allowing people to burn wood -the air pollution in winter will be completely untenable. Of course if an existing building is sold the appliance should be removed.

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    [-] vivi

    Homeowner grants for improving fuel efficiency and converting to clean energies would greatly aid in a quicker move toward cleaner, more efficient homes in particular.

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    [-] jennifer

    Residential wood heat contributes 33% of the Black Carbon emissions in Canada. Subsidize only the clean non biomass forms of heating in order to be able to meet the challenge of climate change.

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    [-] jennifer

    WE need the cleanest and most efficient building possible on this challenged coast. The most important initiative would be highly subsidizing clean heat – and abolishing any subsidy for dirty wood heat. In fact we really need to disallow any wood burning appliances or fireplaces going into any new buildings. With the volume of people that will be moving here – if we don’t stop allowing people to burn wood -the air pollution in winter will be completely untenable. Of course if an existing building is sold the appliance should be removed.

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    [-] Rob

    Don’t finance heat sources that burn bio mass. More incentives for wind and solar. Heat pumps as well.

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    [-] Mike

    Provide incentives to strata or members that encourage adoption of low-cost EV wiring infrastructure retrofits that re-use existing supply wiring to the maximum and reduce initial capital expenditures. The result would be a reduction in risk by early adopters in each building and provisions for lower-cost sharing by additional participants. The net result would be an acceleration of EV installations where the demand numbers are greatest. That would make the building an extended contributory to environmental health, beyond its actual boundaries.

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    [-] Cathy

    Incentives are fine but don’t forget about the basic responsibility of government to provide equitable and fair regulations. Require energy efficiency and emission reducing retrofits in the BC Building Code. New buildings must be built better. Older buildings need effective retrofits.

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    [-] Erin

    How to encourage investments:
    – design a reno program that aligns with BC’s Energy Step Code
    – one program that focuses on homeowners (windows, insulation, major appliances, heating, etc.) and a second program for condos/ apartments/ rental units (lighting, hot water heating, minor appliances, air conditioning) so that everyone has access to energy savings
    – include incentives for programmable smart devices that can start appliances and chargers (such as EV chargers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc.) outside of peak hours, as this will also decrease the need for increased power generation and reduce emissions.
    – subsidize installations for residential renewable energy generation for solar, geothermal, etc.
    – require BC hydro to pay grid suppliers a fair rate so that individuals can be empowered to generate their own power (increasing ROI reduces the barriers to adopting this practice)

    Finally stop all incentives for natural gas!! There is no point investing in technology that will need to be replaced again

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    [-] Nara

    The energy efficiency labelling requirement on homes is an intriguing idea. Currently, there is no one on the Sunshine Coast certified to do a Home Energy Audit. They must be called in from the city, and so the $150 rebate for the Energy Coach Home Evaluation is not enough to offset the cost and take advantage of the rebates. More people need to be trained but until then, perhaps travel to the Coast and other rural communities and islands could be subsidized for the Energy Advisor to make monthly inspection tours. Then, they could be booked on hourly rates as if they were local.

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    [-] Peter

    Remove PST on solar energy systems including PV panels, inverters and solar hot water heating systems.

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    [-] Nara

    Being the local coordinator for the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program, I am uncomfortable with the rebate for a solid fuel replacement. Black carbon, a component of soot, is the second largest contributor to climate change. According to Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory, 33% of all national emissions are caused by home firewood burning, second only to transportation and mobile equipment. The 2011 census shows 6% of Canadian homes heating with wood or pellets. 6% of homes, creating 33% of the pollution!
    Because wood smoke particles are so small, despite doors and windows being closed, pollution indoors can reach up to 70 percent of the outside pollution levels even in homes that do not burn wood; it should never be allowed in residential neighbourhoods except in the extreme case of a power cut.
    This year we restricted the eligibility of replacement wood stoves to only the most rural homes, those
    greater than 100m from their neighbours, and required that their certified emissions be less than 2.0g/h of particulate matter as will be required in 2020. As a result, no one has qualified. This is a relief to us as the Clean Air Society because the real world emissions are proven to be greater than their lab certification.
    Despite education, people continue to burn wet wood and close their dampers down allowing the fires to smoulder.
    The $250 rebate for a new wood burning appliance should be eliminated and the incentive value for a heat pump increased. The possibility of doubling up with the BC Hydro heat pump rebate should also be allowed. I confirmed with them that they check consumption to ensure the baseboard heaters were in use but many people say they leave them off and rely solely on their wood stove. Despite the price of Hydro in BC being among the lowest in North America, many people still find it too expensive. The tier system of use should be dropped to encourage home heating and subsidies granted to lower-income families and pensioners. After all, it is the greenest option here in BC. It’s appalling that natural gas should cost far less.
    There is no difference between wildfire and residential wood smoke to someone’s lungs. Long term health effects of these unprecedented wild fire seasons will have severe costs to the medical system. Allowing domestic wood burning to locally continue deteriorating air quality is not something we can afford to do.

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    [-] Rebecca

    We need to ban the sale of gas and oil burning furnaces. Considering that electric heat pumps are shown to have the same life time costs as their climate change causing equivalents, there really is no reason to not do this.

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    [-] Kelsey

    Any incentives or programs to support low-carbon retrofits of existing buildings should recognize that low-carbon energy supply from external sources can be more cost-effective than installing emissions-reducing equipment within the building. Particularly in dense urban areas, low-carbon district energy systems are an important option for decarbonizing buildings. Incentive programs are sometimes designed to only provide support for capital investments within a building such as heat pumps or higher-efficiency gas boilers. These programs should provide a level playing field between emission reductions pathways by also supporting investments in expanded district energy infrastructure where district energy can offer emissions reductions.

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    [-] Ecotrust

    Indigenous communities in BC face a number of unique challenges including poor quality housing, limited access to natural gas, and in some cases no access to grid electricity. These factors contribute to energy poverty, where a typical indigenous on-reserve household is estimated to spend about three times as much of their income as the median BC household on meeting their basic energy needs. Further, ineffective heating systems often result in social and health consequences such as lower air quality and mould in on-reserve homes.

    Homes in on-reserve communities present some of the highest-impact opportunities in BC for positive economic and social outcomes from energy efficiency investments. Energy efficiency retrofits such as the installation of high-efficiency heating systems and improvements to building envelope can create new training and employment opportunities, dramatically reduce household spending and greenhouse gas emissions, and help address longstanding health and social challenges, especially when paired with other necessary housing improvements. For example, we estimate that heating system retrofits could be completed across on-reserve communities without access to natural gas at a total cost of $14,000 per home, with an annual return on investment of 12-14%.

    To address energy poverty on-reserve and create opportunities for increasingly skilled jobs in indigenous communities throughout BC, we recommend that the BC Government:
    1) Deploy capital at scale to meet the investment need for efficiency retrofits in on-reserve indigenous housing through either dramatically increased funding programs, customized incentive programs, new financing tools, or a combination of these options.
    2) Ensure that the process for participating in funding, incentives, and financing programs is streamlined and user friendly so that programs are accessible to communities without an undue burden for funding administration.
    3) Increase investment in capacity development & training, so that communities can participate in the economic opportunities and create skilled jobs in the process of developing and implementing projects, and also so that communities can be self-reliant in the maintenance of new energy-saving equipment.
    4) Provide flexibility in retrofit project design and combine high-impact measures such as ventilation improvements when possible so that indigenous communities can effectively pair efficiency retrofits with other essential home repairs such as improved ventilation, fixed windows, or mold remediation.
    5) Ensure communities are supported in adopting higher-efficiency building codes and that they have the training and financial support needed to implement higher-efficiency standards while effectively addressing the huge demand for new housing on-reserve.
    6) Design programs to meet the needs of lower-capacity communities, so that those without own-source revenue or limited staff capacity are still able to participate and capture the energy-saving benefits of cleaner, more efficient approaches.

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    [-] Paul

    The province should not provide incentives for gas fired residential equipment of any kind. Fracked gas provides little if any carbon emissions improvement over other non-renewable fossil fuel energy sources. Renewable gas such as biogas should be reserved for uses which will be more difficult to electrify, such as perhaps trucking or commercial cooking. Good efficient electric heat pumps are available now – that’s what the province should be providing incentives for! I support incentives for retrofits to improve insulation in existing buildings.

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    [-] David

    Have BC Hydro pay more per kw of electricity generated by homeowners who install solar panels.

    Provide incentives for Stratas to retro-fit buildings. Strata owners usually balk at the upfront cost of retro fits. If incentives can be carried over the course of two or three years to coincide with the financing needed to cover the cost of projects, then stratas might be more likely to take on retro fit projects.

    Provide tax deductions for levies paid by strata owners who opt to retro-fit their buildings.

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    [-] Elizabeth

    This is very frustrating to read this! This should have been done a long time ago ie. 10 years ago we looked for a way to install a wind turbine when building a house to supplement energy requirements. Nothing was available commercially back then and still waiting to hear if there is anything on the market.
    Government needs to offer R and D incentives to business for development of energy efficient innovations . Also, there doesn’t seem to be any incentives for homeowners to do these retrofits offered by the BC government. It seems there has been a lot of talking and not much action by governments in power.

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    [-] Judy

    I have benefited from a BC Hydro incentive to replace baseboard electric heating with a heat pump and was just able to handle the upfront cost, however I suspect many more would switch if more incentives such as an interest free loan were available. I think heat pumps will become much more of a necessity in coming years as they also function as air conditioning. This could literally be a lifesaver as we huddle in our homes avoiding extreme heat and/or forest fire smoke which will become all too frequent as climate change proceeds.
    We should be very careful about offering incentives for gas fired equipment, it would be much better to fund energy improvements which do not involve fossil fuels.
    Solar panels should also be a prime target for incentives, it has been my experience that they can provide nearly half my annual energy requirements

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    [-] peter

    The best incentives are the ones that are financially significant in order to offset the administrative burden of accessing them. They are also the ones that have a guaranteed pool of funds; i.e. not subject to oversubscription.

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    [-] Mohammad

    Some incentives were missing from the suggestions:
    – Solar rooftops
    – Solar panel window blinds
    – Section dedicated to EVs so to save cost/energy on CO2 sensors and exhaust

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    [-] Judith

    The Province should not support transition to gas fixtures. While they are more efficient and lower ghg than oil, this is still fossil fuel use and takes us away from the ultimate goal.

    Yes, bring back the incentives program, similar to LiveSmart BC. Require that a home (or building) energy assessment is conducted first – this is important in ensuring the “greatest GHG bang for the buck”. Relatively inexpensive measures such as insulation or water saving devices can make a huge difference in energy consumption – and taking small steps can be a good ‘gateway’ to helping people take greater measures.

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    [-] Dr.

    I strongly support incentives to retrofit buildings. The built environment is, at once, a major emitter of GHGs and “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to easily-accomplished emissions reductions. It’s not hard, in many cases, to make buildings more efficient, which is not only environmentally responsible but tends to create lower costs for owners. Win-win scenario.

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    [-] Lee

    My household benefited from provincial and federal subsidies in switching out from force air oil furnace to air-source heat pump. We also found the EnerGuide assessment and rating of the energy efficiency of our 1960s house highly useful in making improvements over the years, including the dead simple addition of better insulation for our attic. More effort should be made in getting buildings switched over to heat pumps, particularly with the Site C project going forward. Keep working of improving gas energy efficiencies, but much better to avoid or get rid of gas if possible and move to ambient air heating (and cooling as a bonus).

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    [-] Linda

    If I were to receive incentives to remove the wood stove and have energy efficient renovations,it would be very helpful.

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    [-] Linda

    I am now a widowed homeowner with a lowered income living in Comox. Grants to install a heat pump, solar panels, upgrade insulation and possibly more energy efficient windows would be of tremendous help. My son lives in California. He has recently had solar panels installed. Energy generated will go back to PG&E, lowering his monthly bills and paying for the panels and installation. New jobs have been generated through this program.

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    [-] Jan

    To seriously reduce GHG emissions from buildings an aggressive retrofit program is needed to deal with the enormous inventory of older buildings. I live in a 40-unit, 30-year-old, steel-and-concrete condo that is facing the imminent replacement of the roof and windows. Our engineers, Read Jones Christoffersen, have provided us with estimates for improving our energy efficiency (e.g. ‘greening’ the roof; added insulation; solar readiness; triple-glazing; denser gas fill for IGUs; low-e coatings, e-vehicle charging stations, etc.) which will significantly increase the base costs of replacement. These incremental costs will require a ¾ majority vote to go forward. Despite the best intentions on the parts of owners, it is unlikely to happen unless there is a combination of sticks (mandatory improvement requirements) and carrots (incentives.)

    Retrofits for MURBs will have to coincide with planned renewals and replacements. Two suggestions:
    1. Stronger codes and standards for existing buildings’ renewal projects should mandate improved energy and environmental standards. These need to be issued quickly. Our strata corporation’s decisions, like those of many older strata buildings, will be made in the next few years. If this window of opportunity is missed, then it will be 25-30 years before the next opportunity for retrofits will arise for these aging buildings.
    2. Special incentives should be devised for MURBs in the form of tax incentives, rebates, grants, etc. that encourage multi-year, whole-building approaches. The incentive packages need to take the complicated approval process for strata corporations into account. They should be structured to encourage aggressive actions, with escalating amounts available to buildings that tackle improvements on multiple fronts.

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    [-] Brooke

    There should be more incentives for high-efficiency, low-GHG options for new homes builders. There are currently no significant incentives for builders, and we are in a building boom that will shape the housing landscape for years to come. This would be a great time to make heat pumps, high R-values and smart design the new norm.

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    [-] GV

    The rebates should have a climate focus. By that I mean that people should only get rebates for shrinking their carbon emissions. Now people can get rebates for switching from electricity to gas, and that’s’ not helping with the climate crisis. Under the LiveSmart and ecoENERGY programs only upgrades that were lower carbon and higher efficiency could get rebates. Now people who are using electricity for space and water heating can get a rebates for a gas wall heater, a gas fireplace, and a gas water heater. I think rebates should be managed by a provincial body with a climate mandate, not the utilities with their BCUC reviews for cost effectiveness for energy savings. We should also start to think about adaptation needs and rebate programs. For instance, for bad air quality during these fires, those who have heat pumps are doing well because they have air conditioning and air filtering, all running on renewable energy with low operating costs. Climate projections show that our demand for cooling will go way up. Our rebate programs should help get people ready for that. We should also not give any rebates to people installing gas equipment. We need to get everyone on renewable energy ASAP. We should be aware of climate equity issues – how to help those who don’t have the money upfront and to wait for a rebate later. Programs specifically targeted at different socioeconomic levels may help. There are some municipalities working on these issues right now. The province can help by allowing local governments to use municipal local area service charges for providing low-interest financing for upgrades. Also, there is a gap in rebate programs for non-profits and faith community buildings. Let’s fill that gap, please!

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    [-] Louise

    Wr have never accessed an incentive, although we have retrofitted to passive solar and electric heat. No incentives should be associated with any carbon-based fuel whatsoever, including fracked gas. The atmosphere is full already. All GHG emissions are harmful now and increase the likelihood of runaway climate chaos in future. No fossil fuel-related incentives or expansions are morally defensible.

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    [-] Donovan

    Re-introducing incentive programs (ideally with matching Federal government incentives like we had with the previous ecoENERGY and LiveSmartBC programs) would be a welcome initiative. But this time integrated with a renovation program aligned with the BC Energy Step Code…. and thus within a framework of aiming for net-zero buildings. Such a program should also include incentives to expand the scope to include solar PV, community solar, and electric vehicle charging.

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    [-] ed

    We need incentives for residential and commercial rooftop solar panels for electricity generation. In Ontario, for example, Hydro pays the grid supplier four times the going KWH rate, making the payback period significantly shorter than the 25 years required in BC. Either this or a one-time rebate for home owners to retrofit would see an explosion of projects resulting in the expansion of the workforce in each local community-another benefit. With the experience gained, BC moves to the forefront of the ‘green
    revolution’. Simple ideas that require the political will to adopt such policies, as the science is already there.

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    [-] David

    If an incentive is worth providing, it needs to actually make a difference to the environment, and some “full cost accounting” may be needed. Sure, wood smoke is bad, but what is the environmental impact of burning dried wood from a tree on my property (or my neighbourhood) compared to burning “cleaner” natural gas (mostly methane) extracted from the Peace basin and pumped over several mountain ranges by a dozen gas-burning pump stations, and perhaps chilled to a liquid (-160 deg C) and then warmed and pumped again? The gas industry (with revenue-hungry government support) has convinced us that their product is clean, but it is still a fossil fuel, and getting it to point of use entails substantial impact. Thorough dispassionate analysis is needed to examine the actual benefits of conversions to gas, heat pumps, green roofs, and sundry other technologies–particularly if publicly-funded incentives are contemplated.

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    [-] Jim

    Glad to see incentives are now in place for heat pump installation to replace wood stoves. The next step is to discontinue the incentives for upgrading wood stoves, and then to require removal of wood stoves on the sale of a property where alternate fuels are available. Consider time-of-use pricing for electricity to even the load rather than tier pricing which does little to reduce the need for additional electricity generation. Yes this requires smart metering but other areas do it.

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    [-] David

    To encourage the use of solar energy and heat pumps, the government could provide interest free loans to cover the cost of this low carbon heating equipment. In a new development, a solar loop for geothermal heating could be included in the development at the same time foundations and other plumbing is being installed prior construction of the buildings. The roof pitch and roof orientation could be set for optimal solar performance at the building design stage. These will add some costs to the development but could make a big difference by eliminating carbon emissions from natural gas or in some areas such as Revelstoke which have to use propane. The extra cost could calculated and applied for during the design stage. In the case where natural gas is not available there would actually be a cost reduction for heating.

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    [-] David

    I would like to upgrade my home to include a solar array. My home already has a high energy emission rating and a heat pump. The cost of the array to cover about 50% of my electric requirements is about $25000. An interest free loan would make this possible. Thank you.

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    [-] Michael

    Using wood to heat homes is problematic on two levels.

    1. Wood smoke from residential heating is a dangerous pollutant in urban areas where this type of heating is common.
    2. Residential wood smoke contributes 1/3 of the black carbon pollution within Canada.

    Use incentive programs to encourage home owners to switch to a heat pump, instead of/ burning wood.

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    [-] Jennell

    First a few statistics as background for comments on rebates:
    – In a national inventory of black carbon, the data shows that residential wood heating accounts for an astounding 33% of Canada’s total black carbon emissions in 2016 (see text under “2016 black carbon report results” https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/pollutants/black-carbon-emissions-inventory.html). This is second only to diesel vehicles.
    – BC Healthlink notes that Fine Particulate Matter, called PM2.5, is the number one air pollutant of concern. The Lower Fraser Valley (LFV) 2015 Emissions Inventory noted residential wood burning continues to be the largest source of PM2.5 emissions, contributing about 28% of annual PM2.5 in the LFV, and 32% of the PM2.5 in Metro Vancouver in 2015. (Note that ALL on-road emissions account for 5.5% of PM2.5 emissions in LFV). Yet the very seasonal use of wood stoves is likely under 20% in this region (so in other areas, wood heating likely contributes an even larger amount of PM2.5. In the Comox Valley, for example, residential wood heat was found to account for 35.5% of PM2.5 emissions.)
    – a 2017 UK study by “The Air Quality Expert Group” compared factory emission ratings of a new wood stove (3.3 gm/hour) to factory emissions ratings for diesel vehicles. They concluded that 1 ‘eco’ stove emitted as many fine particulates per hour as 18 newer diesel passenger cars (or 6 newer Heavy Goods Vehicles). Additionally, studies of real world use of wood stoves have shown actual emissions to be far higher than factory ratings.
    – there is no data readily available for BC in terms of the contribution of GHGs from residential wood heating vs other fuel sources. This data needs to be collected to help guide a truly clean growth future.

    COMMENTS ABOUT FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR WOOD STOVES:
    The BC Government has been running the Wood Stove Exchange Program since 2007. It was initially designed to encourage people remove old, uncertified stoves (pre 1994), and replace them with newer, certified stoves. The resulting reduction in pollution (after well over $2 million in expenditures) has been small. The amount of fine particulate pollution even a well run certified stove puts out is still exponentially higher than any other (legal) source of heating fuel.

    Using taxpayers dollars to help people replace a heavily polluting stove with a somewhat heavily polluting stove is like funding people to get their 20 mpg car off the road by giving them a rebate for a 30 mpg car, and promoting that as a really good solution! It is a waste of public dollars.

    Fortunately, the program now also provides rebates for people to switch from an older, uncertified wood stove to a gas heater or, as of this year, a heat pump. This is a far better approach and should be encouraged as much as possible as the reduction in pollution is substantial and does not depend on how the operator runs the appliance (and does not require ongoing taxpayer funds for education on burning or enforcement when the person burns illegal fuels or creates nuisance smoke).

    RECOMMENDATION
    These types of cleaner appliance rebates should be available to replace ALL types of wood burning appliances (current rebates are only available for pre-1994 stoves) and rebates for installing new wood stoves. should be ended immediately. Further, BC should be actively discouraging the use of residential wood heat as it is neither a green or healthy fuel source.

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    [-] Jennell

    Additionally, BC should not leave the decision on whether or not to provide rebates for new wood stoves to local governments as it does now. It must take leadership on this issue and apply the appropriate solution across the board, to provide equal access — and protection — to its citizens.

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    [-] Richard

    A strong program in this area could make a difference.

    In the CRD there remains thousands of fuel oil heating systems that are a serious environmental risk plus emissions foot print as high as 80 tonnes of CO2 per 1000 GJ. A targeted program could accelerate space heating fuel substitution technologies here. The Program could fully cover the oil tank removal costs plus $1500 for conversion to natural gas and or better a $3000 to high performance electric air to air heat pumps.

    I normally would not suggest natural gas appliances, but much effort is now being invested in co-mingling gaseous hydrogen and renewable natural gas as an effective method of transitioning to much greener fuel from natural gas utilities.

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    [-] Eve

    Loved our energy star rating process for our house. Was great to identify where the low hangig fruit was for renos to our house to make it more efficient. I would love to do another to identify the next spots to work on.
    How about free Heat mapping of your house to identify the leaks?
    The sticking point was the price of the renos after the assessment was done. Subsidy for any renos that improves the energy efficiency of older houses is a no brainer. There are more older houses in bc than new ones!

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    [-] Gwen

    Stop the confict of interest by making decisions that only benefits the government. Until a win-win, you win first model is implemented there will continue be no engagement or participation.

    Adopt a yellow brick road and easy button framework. Everything counts. Assume I need to be educated, incentivized and rewarded, like a child, but respect me as an adult capable of making a choice (when I act, my decision makes a difference, but meets my agenda first = win #1).
    Have compliance that promotes commitment, & simplicity. Ie: incentives should be tied to property tax rebates and tiered to favour a higher % in year 1 and then graduated over the next 4 years. The investment is protected in the home asset, and presumably increases immediate value (win#2). The effiecencies and tax rebate must transfer to subsequent purchasers, thereby eliminating risk, supporting sound practises to take action, and win-win sceniario.

    Include solar without limits and I’m in, including a business model to create jobs for the supply/installation/education/administration of a program..

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    [-] August

    Excellent responses and much needed. Well thought out and beautifully presented. Exactly what is required. AJ

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    [-] Tom

    solar panels, solar cars and charging stations at home

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    [-] August

    Yes. In every respect! Also using the vehicle battery power connection for high energy use hours and recharged when the lights go out.

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    [-] Rick

    I can’t believe that there are no financial incentives to support the use of Solar Energy but I suspect it is because it’s free energy and isn’t lining anyone’s pockets.

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    [-] August

    Hydro Electric power (Green Energy Recycled) provides about 90% of the electricity used in BC. The remaining 10% is fossil fuel generated. The dollar cost value of solar is not evident and all studies do not incorporate the dollar value of intangibles such as ever increasing hydro rates, costs of transmission, economic losses thru detrimental events and eventual deteriorating health costs. It will take honest evaluation to demonstrate the ROI for solar, wind, and heat recovery systems.

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    [-] Elana

    These programs are cost-effective and effective at reducing energy use. I participated and was pleased with the result. I’d love to see my townhouse complex get some help with energy-efficient windows. All of us paying the energy bills would be grateful.

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    [-] Trevor

    I strongly support an incentive program to improve energy efficiency through retrofits as long as that program also includes training for energy auditors about adaptation to climate change and the program is designed to offer incentives that make buildings more resilient to future climate impacts in addition to more energy efficient. Optimal energy efficiency itself can only be achieved by considering the future climate in any case.

    The federal government is working on how to incorporate future climate into the building code but in the meantime, a well designed retrofit incentive program could take steps to consider future climate in energy efficiency incentives. This is especially the case as we move towards net zero buildings with an emphasis on insulation – it’s important to design that for the actual heating and cooling loads the building will face.

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    [-] Mary

    I would very much like the government to discontinue financial incentives to replace old woodstoves with other wood burning appliances. Winter air quality is very poor in many communities in BC and even the newest woodstove pollutes many times more than other heating devices such as natural gas furnaces or heat pumps. Please limit rebate programs to funding the switch away from wood heat to cleaner sources!

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    [-] Rick

    I have a heat pump. I exceed the tier 1 rate all during the winter. I have 2 gas lines running through me property but Fortis won’t give me gas without a $35,000 – $50,000 expenditure. I have no choice but to use wood heat to off-set my heating cost.

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    [-] Jennell

    I also meant to add that we need public policy that ensures the cleanest form of energy available (electricity) is the most affordable and there are disincentives for fuels that are more polluting or contribute negatively to climate change. Far too often I hear that wood is cheap and affordable, and electricity for heat is too expensive. If this is truly the case, and lower income folks are making this choice, then our public policy obviously must change to ensure that is not the case. For one, the public would save on health care costs.

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    [-] Jennell

    Rick, unfortunately, many people in my area use the same argument – that they can’t afford cleaner heat. This means that the air is very polluted much of the winter in our neighbourhood (we are subject to multiple air advisories each winter) and we have had to purchase, and run, 3 air purifiers for our home. In other words, we are paying more while our neighbours apparently save money by burning the dirtiest fuel available. Not to mention there thousands of studies that point to a range of health impacts of wood smoke. The government must stop providing rebates to people to install a new wood stove. Yes, it might be an improvement over an older stove, if the person runs it appropriately, but it is still exponentially more polluting than any other (legal) fuel. FYI – we too have a heat pump and pay Tier 2.

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    [-] Laurie

    Why are we not doing incentives for solar???

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    [-] Rick

    Good question. I suspect it is because BC Hydro and Fortis won’t profit from it. They are even trying to limit net metering programs because they claim they are paying out too much money. They want to make more money by selling less power for more cost and not having to increase their infrastructure. Every roof top in Canada should have solar panels installed.

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    [-] August

    While I agree with you in principle we cannot throw out the baby with the bath water. BC Hydro and Fortis are necessary components for our energy systems. at least for now until something better comes along. We need them, their generating systems and most of all their transmission grid. at this point they are the system – in future they will be the energy redundancy we will need. No system is perfect unto itself!

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    [-] Pembina

    We support the Province’s intention to accelerate market transformation for the energy efficiency products through incentives and financing. However, we caution against short term incentives funded from general revenues, as their transience creates uncertainty and turbulence which are detrimental to the establishment of a prosperous energy efficiency market. To be effective, Provincial incentives must have longevity, and therefore funding that is separate from general revenue.
    Our recommendations are:
    Develop a green bonds program to provide ongoing funding for low-cost capital loans and incentives for energy and resiliency retrofits.

    Assess the potential for increased public revenues and economic activity triggered through the green bonds model demonstrated by the KfW public-private partnership.

    Focus provincial incentives for heating equipment on low-carbon technologies; avoid incentives that lock-in carbon polluting technologies.
    For the Pembina Institute’s full submission, see: http://www.pembina.org/pub/bc-clean-growth-intentions

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    [-] Casey

    The Victoria Residential Builders Association fully supports financial incentives like a renovation tax credit to improve the energy efficiency of older homes. The national reno tax credit was a popular initiative that helps not only energy efficiency but also seismic upgrading in our region where a major earthquake is a certainty. The BC govt collects more than $2 billion annually from the Property Transfer Tax during home sales. Some of this revenue should be reinvested in retrofits for older homes if the govt is serious about addressing GHGs. The Step Code for new homes is simply greenwashing/window dressing.

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    [-] Jae

    BC should create a green mortgage model that is based upon a variety of European sustainable financing models. We should develop a system where green mortgages are available to building owners for very low interest rates (prime plus less than 1%). The mortgage sits outside of the main mortgage and is available for energy efficiency improvements (insulation, windows, heat pumps, LED lights, HVAC and even solar panels). It is available only as long as the return on investment is at least 2-3 times the interest rate. This model enables the green mortgage cost to be met from the efficiency improvement savings. So if the green mortgage costs $100 a month then the savings would be $200-$300 a month. In effect, delivering over 40% improvements on building efficiency, generating vast numbers of jobs, reducing fuel poverty and costs and creating vast carbon savings! The Canadian Mortgage and Homes Corporation could be an ideal vehicle for this or the BC government could create a special bank for this purpose.

    In order to meet our carbon reduction targets BC should require heat pumps as standard for new buildings and for significant renovations.

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    [-] Randal

    I think that one of the best ways to incentivize people to take less power from the grid is to explain to them in no uncertain terms how much the next batch of new power from a dam like Site C would cost them. The principle the Province would be responsible for, the interest payments over the next 70 years, the loss of food security and the cost in increased food bills resulting from flooding 10,000 acres of class one climate capability farmland, the Billion plus required to compensate first nations who are once again being sacrificed so that BC Hydro can build an unneeded dam. I am thinking somewhere in the neighbourhood of 65- 70 Billion all told, that could be used instead to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses to cut back on energy to a more sustainable level, to a more affordable level of electricity use. One more financial incentive to conserve arises with telling people that we would be taking on that debt so that we can subsidize the liquefaction of natural gas for export customers, as in the power is not for our use and it would be us that has to pay for it.

    On other important means of encouraging the uptake of conservation technology, efficiency improvements, and voluntary reduction of unnecessary electricity consumption; explain to the people of BC that we are ruining calving habitat for ungulates like moose, causing the release of methane from the chopped and shredded forests that Hydro is destroying for the proposed reservoir, creating the potential for Minamata disease from increased levels of mercury, in fish populations, caused by flooding all that organic matter, and the loss of fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, etc.

    I am in favour of the initiative to cut back on electricity use through the offering of incentives to people and businesses, especially low income families and small scale business. But the effort will be far more productive and we need it to be productive because we should stop building a disaster like Site C, we should be trying to electrify energy use, and we can do both, because we waste so much. Please find your copy of the 2007 BC Hydro Conservation Potential Review. And but, also, this kind of responsible energy planning will work much better if we don’t rely solely on small payments to people who are otherwise not involved in why we need to change.

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    [-] Karl

    This is a great opportunity. I have received incentives to replace windows and insulate. Prioritize incentives for upgrades that are visible, to increase acceptance, awareness, and interest in upgrades.

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    [-] Scott

    We took advantage last winter of a Fortis rebate to replace our hot water tank with an on-demand system. While helpful, even with the rebate the new system was much more expensive than a conventional hot water tank and would be prohibitive for many. (We don’t expect to “break even” with reduced energy costs; we’re willing to pay a premium to lower our carbon footprint.) We’re now replacing our furnace and will again take advantage of a Fortis rebate to get the highest efficiency. All of these things add up; anything the government can do to make retrofitting easier — either through rebates or regulation regarding acceptable emission levels (i.e. what products can be sold at all ) will help.

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    [-] Michael

    Incentive payments should be applied for by the contractor (if any) and guaranteed to be given to the contractor within 30 days of the homeowner accepting the work by signing an appropriate form. The Solar Colwood payment system worked like this and won widespread praise from contractors and made homeowners more likely to do improvements since they would not have to worry about the paperwork. Contractors soon became used to the paperwork and therefore the process was smoother for everyone than having to work with multiple homeowners doing it for the first time.

    People who have money will find their own financing. People who are truly struggling to pay their mortgage will need greater help. At least 10% of the money for this program should help the poorest families through a program of actual workers helping to guide them through the whole systew (struggling people have little time, energy and education and need help with this) and financial aid based on ability to pay with as much as 80% covered by grants. Helping these people will help with housing affordability.

    Getting existing homes upgraded will help enormously with housing affordability for everyone.

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    [-] John

    The big barrier here is the fact that no-one is already doing it so anyone who puts solar panels on their roof is the odd one out. Make ALL new houses have solar panels at the time of construction in order to get the permit to live in them. Then the nimby’s will see it’s OK to do retro-fits that dont stand out so much. More efficiency in my view leads to more waste – take a look at low energy light bulbs that now adorn the outside of most new dwellings in ever larger numbers to highlight the wonderful look of the house at night – waste!

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    [-] Bev

    I would like a subsidy for heat pumps, and/or solar roof panels.

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    [-] Lois

    Why is any home being built that is not wired and ready for solar? Why are solar and hot water roof installations not yet standard on all new construction? Why are there no solar, wind or hot water requirements on all new construction? Where are the financial grants for individuals to help make this happen? There are so many ares of government subsidies for industry, now is the time to channel some of that money to homeowners. Spending the money will create jobs across the province.

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    [-] jim

    My experience with government incentives is they just create an industry of construction people who go thru the motions and collect the incentive. Make fossil fuels EXPENSIVE, people will quickly figure out how to reduce their usage. This Climate Catastrophe is an emergency. As we adapt to mitigating this emergency, people are going to grumble. But better we grumble than roast.

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    [-] Tim

    Yes, a carbon tax is the way to go. But our population doesn’t understand or trust governments to be fair with a carbon tax or any tax. So many hard working people out there look at government workers and want their security, pensions and benefits. It makes it hard for governments to bring in a carbon tax as they see it as self serving and against them. Difficult situation to remedy. But go ahead with the carbon tax. It is the best alternative. People will quickly figure it out once it gets expensive. Fuel is still very cheap. How do we not kill our industries with high carbon prices? Hard when you live next to the USA.

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    [-] J.

    solar power incentives would be great

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    [-] Carol

    The older the house the more the incentives should be.

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    [-] Barry

    Please share this with any others able to make changes in case I sent it to the wrong place.

    We are building a new house in Vancouver in the Riley Park neighbourhood where we have lived for over 30 years. We are past the planning and permits stage and are about to “deconstruct” the existing old house on the lot, which was built in 1926 and has had little improvements since then. If anything it’s had “bad” improvements such as single pane aluminum windows from the 60s and other non-energy efficient changes. Here are some of our experiences so far which new legislation could improve.

    1. The greenest city program in Vancouver, while laudable, REALLY SLOWS DOWN AND DISCOURAGES the removal of crappy old houses like the one on our lot. We are now 8 weeks into the process since the tenants moved out of the house and the house is still not demolished. This is because of the endless string of inspections and permits. To tear down a Vancouver house built before 1945 first you need to have an inspection for abatement of hazardous materials. Then this has to go to the city. Then you get an abatement permit. Then you have to hire an abatement crew. They do their job. Takes only 2 days. Then they have to file a report. Then this report goes to the city. Then the city gives a permit. Then you have to hire a deconstruction crew. This crew only takes a few days. Then they have to file a report. Then this report has to go to the city. Then the city gives you a permit to start construction. That’s as far as we’ve got. Point being: it takes less than a week to get rid of a house, but because of the Greenest City program this becomes close to 3 months. All of that time costs money, so please try to shorten this with legislation.

    2. We want to have solar panels on the roof but there are building code and zoning rules about building envelope height and roof slope that prevent us from putting the optimum array of panels on the roof. Codes should be changed to ENCOURAGE solar panels, not discourage.

    3. We want to install a grid tie solar photovoltaic electric system which runs the meter backwards and stores energy in the BC Hydro grid on sunny days. Currently BC Hydro pays almost 10 cents per kWh for such electricity which is good, BUT it is very difficult to get one of these systems installed due to the difficult permitting process. E.g. you have to show that your house will use a certain amount of electricity. If the house is TOO EFFICIENT it is more difficult to get grid tie permit, presumably because BC Hydro does not want to pay out a net positive amount to ordinary home owners for electricity. It should be the opposite of this. i.e. the more efficient the house, the easier it should be to get a grid tie permit. It would be good to get BC Hydro to make it MUCH EASIER for people to put solar panels on roofs and to get grid tie permits for the extra energy they produce. In fact there should be financial incentives for this. More and more electricity is going to be needed and it can come from everyone’s rooftop.

    Final thoughts:

    In general BC climate is no different from Germany where they have all kinds of incentives for solar photovoltaics. In fact you could argue that we get more sunlight hours than Germany. Germany at times gets 100% of their electricity from renewable sources these days. BC could be the same.

    The BC Government should have incentive programs for solar photovoltaic systems and even for solar photovoltaic factories here in BC. Right now we have nothing.

    The BC government should increase and improve incentives for electric cars and especially electric bikes. Electric bikes get no subsidy at the moment. Think: an electric bike is 100 times less massive than a car. Car = 2000 pounds. Bike = 20 pounds. That means everything about an electric bike is 100 times less. You need 100 times less powerful motor and 100 times less capacity batteries. Yet a person can still go about 40km per charge. Bikes take up 10 – 100 times less space than cars. So less parking and road space needed. This is a no-brainer form of transport that should be ENCOURAGED not discouraged as it currently is. An electric bike is also nearly 100 times cheaper than an electric car, too. Electric bikes are good for the young and especially the elderly. Electric bikes are great for hills, and we have a lot of hills in BC

    My main point is: for people who WANT to be energy conscious in both their homes and their transport in BC it is actually MORE DIFFICULT to do so than to build a conventional house and to drive a conventional gas-guzzling car. You should make it the opposite.

    Thanks.

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    [-] Robert

    Offer a buy-back of oil-fired or inefficient natural gas boilers when replaced with a heat pump system. Offer tax incentives and reductions on property tax on other measures. Integrate with the other initiatives (labeling, etc) so the client does not need to fill out duplicate data. Make the application process very very very simple and easy, but do spot checks to deter abuse. Provide a guide to show which energy efficiency measures they should do when considering any renovation.

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    [-] Steve

    Most of these discussions are aimed at “The Future” and concern future developments. My career has been highly focused on improving the efficiency of existing infrastructure and for the majority the results have been outstanding. I am a Commercial Mechanical Contractor and Applied Science Technologist with Commercial Gas Certification. In recent years we have been very successful with assisting our clients in reducing their energy consumption by 50% or more. Some of our high-profile clients such as the Coastguard realized a 72% reduction in their consumption of Natural Gas just with an equipment upgrade alone! Nothing else was done to the facility to contribute to this saving.
    Imaging if all the existing commercial facilities such as Schools, Hospitals, Apartments, Commercial Buildings all got on board and collectively reduced their heating and hot-water needs by 40-70%. This is all available now and is incredibly cost-effective. We recently converted a 60-unit apartment building to high-efficiency condensing-boiler technology for less than $70,000 and their pay-back was less than 18 months! Why would anyone NOT want to be on board with this? And yet the majority claim they can not afford to upgrade so the carry on paying high fuel bills when their savings would easily eclipse the on-going costs. Others choose a “cheaper” alternative by installing “traditional efficiency” equipment at less cost, but is it really less when your fuel bills are not reduced? I call it “the bargain you keep on paying for” and it’s true.
    Every once in a while I get on my podium and preach this same sermon but only wise ears hear my call. There is nothing common about common sense.
    This is my final year before retirement and as a personal project I converted my own home to High-Efficiency Natural Gas and LED Lighting. Since last October my Hydro bill has not entered Tier-2 billing and my combined Gas and Electric bills have reduced by over 72%. So I’m doing my part, why aren’t others? I truly hope the right person takes the torch from me and carries on!

    Best Regards, Steve Lapp

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    [-] Don

    My experience is that tenant behaviour is even more important than efficiency when utilities are included in a rental.

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    [-] Dick

    Change building codes to reflect both cooling and heating requirements.

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    [-] Randal

    Incentives and education are hand in hand tools to improve energy efficiency in BC homes and businesses. It isn’t enough though to say your bills will go down if you buy in to conservation. a very large aspect, that BC Hydro has completely denied, refused to use, and actively campaigned in ads against it, is the acknowledgement of the social and environmental costs associated with increasing energy production to meet demand growth. The impacts on First Nations and local landowners of flood destroying their land, of wrecking conciliation, of disrupting recreational opportunities.

    Then there is the loss of our best agricultural land like at Site C on the Peace River, the loss of winter and calving habitat for wildlife, the methyl mercury accumulation in fish, the destruction of carbon sequestering ability in forests and the resulting methane release from decaying plant material in the reservoir behind the proposed dam. These costs that were accepted for some time as being a necessary evil that people didn’t have to know about, have come back to bite us. And it will get worse if we make the problem worse with Site c and additional dams.

    Then there is the financial mess that continuing Hydros dream would have on ratepayers. Even if Hydro were capable of building a dam and maintaining integrity in their budgeting, and I would suggest that would be a contradiction in terms, but even if they could keep it to 11 Billion dollars, when you add in interest payments over the proposed amortization, and the subsequent decommissioning costs of the dam, our kids and grandkids and great grandkids will be paying for this boondoggle their entire lives, ‘for generations’.

    If the BC Government is serious about developing a responsible energy program of any sort, it needs to stop the dam and reassess what that costing formula will do to elasticity of electricity use. It needs to consider what the lessening of our sustainability chances is going to do to livability in the Province and the world. And it needs to develop an energy strategy that minimizes our use of expensive energy and rather than just do a red herring fuel switching exercise, help business and residential customers to cut back on our energy impacts on the environment.

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    [-] Jack

    Incentives are great but high electricity costs are a huge problem to going all-electric. Force BC Hydro and Fortis to stabilize electricity prices, make sure there’s adequate (and green) supply in place so that people can switch from gas without being penalized by high rates.

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    [-] Karen

    Financial incentives are a proven way to incent efficiency upgrades, however I think the Fed and Prov govts need to create specific tax allowances. These would allow the business (does not apply to resi) to claim of the entire cost of the energy-saving or emission-reducing retrofits in the year they were completed, rather than have to amortize the upgrade as a building improvement using CCA depreciation rules. Currently, lighting, heating, HVAC, elevators etc, are only allowed to be depreciated at 4% per year. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/sole-proprietorships-partnerships/report-business-income-expenses/claiming-capital-cost-allowance/classes-depreciable-property.html#class1). Specific upgrades that result in energy or emission savings should be allowed a fast-track Accelerated Capital Allowance. This will allow companies to more easily justify their projects as it would be an O&M expense, rather than CAPEX.

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    [-] yvette

    I would love to build our next house using geothermal heating and cooling systems. Incentives to help with the cost of geothermal could come through pst tax relief on the building costs.

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    [-] Randall

    Sellers of these products should be required to give consumers the information on incentives at the point of sale.

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    [-] Michael

    Incentives, perhaps through BC Hydro, for installing various energy generating or energy management technologies:

    • Battery energy storage (i.e. Tesla Powerwall type of technology)

    • Solar panels

    • Wind turbines
    Micro size technologies and designs, including rooftop box designs
    Both traditional horizontal and new vertical-axis wind turbines

    • Smart circuit breakers
    Such as Pluton Power type of technology
    http://www.plutonpower.com/

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    [-] Mike

    Provide lower property tax rates for existing multi-tenant buildings that install EV chargers. This combined with existing incentives will motivate condo boards and landlords to install chargers.

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    [-] Sharon

    Our home has an energy rating during some renovations to become more energy efficient. It was a relatively easy process accessing and being reimbursed for furnace and insulation. New windows last year will add to that rating I’m sure. We just put a white metal roof on our home, which will prepare us for future solar installation. This has resulted in a huge decrease in attic temperatures so our solar roof fan is not working as hard. It would be great to have solar panel and storage incentives to enable us to reduce our energy consumption. By providing worthwhile incentives/rebates like this, we likely would not need Site C dam, since BC Hydro has announced they have an abundance of energy and are therefore reducing the feed-in-tarriff rates for excess energy from solar. Having increased household/commercial battery capacity would be a worthwhile investment.

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    [-] John

    We built a passive house in 2013, when there were very few incentives for doing so. The low operating costs are the incentive for us.
    At the time the only thing we wished for was better education in the building industry.
    An incremental increase in the carbon tax plus better education relating to the benefits of energy efficiency for the mortgage lenders would be more helpful than cash incentives to homeowners.

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    [-] Jonathan

    I would like to renovate my home, a large portion of which would be energy efficiency upgrades. I would like to renovate to Step 5 of the Energy Step Code or do some sort of Passive House retrfoit. My biggest problem is accessing financing and incentives – i don’t know where to start… I am quite happy to establish what my energy savings would be and then to use the savings to pay back loans but i don’t know how to go about this.

    Incentives for the energy study and consulting work would be useful.

    A big problem is that BC Hydro has reduced the feed-in-tarriff rates for excess energy from photovoltaics on house back in to the grid. This makes using these low-carbon options less viable and so adoption will be lower – even though PV coupled to an air souce heat pump would be a great low carbon heating strategy…

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    [-] Kevin

    What was your experience accessing home renovation incentives?
    I had a good experience doing this. I was able to install a higher efficiency furnace and water heater than I would have been able to without it.
    What types of incentives or financing options would best encourage investments in energy efficiency or switching to low carbon heating equipment?
    Cash incentives based on the products being installed relative to their efficiency increase.

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    [-] Cheryl

    Energy efficiency upgrades are most palatable when there is a reward at the end in the form of $$$ back into the pocket of the homeowner. Grants would inspire homeowners to take the leap. We increased the efficiency of our home years back, we participated in the Live Smart program and received grants for that work. We now have lower utility bills, more $$$ in our pocket, produce less GHGs and our house has an Energy Rating
    I think windows doors furnaces hot water heaters and insulation should be included in any grants.

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    [-] Chris

    I would like an incentive for home battery energy store and you could work in partnership with BCHydro to help cover the costs.

    There are some pilot projects going on in the US right now where a utility company is covering some of the costs of the home battery and in return, the homeowner gives the utility access to the power during peak hours.

    Please read it here https://greenmountainpower.com/press/gmp-launches-new-comprehensive-energy-home-solution-tesla-lower-costs-customers/

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    [-] Remi

    Incentives need to even the playing field between the low cost of natural gas, and the relatively higher cost of electricity to encourage low-carbon heating equipment.
    Lower interest mortgages for high efficiency homes would be beneficial.
    A utility run program that pays for and manages renovations that will be paid back by utility cost savings would be good. The renovator/utility need to measure and aggregate savings to ensure homeowners get the stated savings.

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    [-] Gord

    As a homeowner currently designing what we hope will become the Okanagan’s first certified Net Zero Home (a 100 m2 carriage house on the back of our 1/4 lot), I can tell you that we expect to pay a premium now, but to recoup it within 15 years due to lower e-costs. We are getting some of our energy advisor’s costs reimbursed due to our Net Zero / STEP Code certification, but I cannot believe this would be only the first in the OK. Our contractor has said that up front construction costs are just too much for all of his other clients to date; perhaps rising e-costs (actually dropping electricity costs, so NOT) will drive others to follow me? However, my wife and I intend to move in and age-in-place in our carriage house, so its LCC are important to us. I know many of our aging friends also want to age in place, this might be a good way to encourage more of that while densifying existing communities at the same time? In short term, I’d recommend a market incentive in one of two ways:
    a. Splits the increased design/construction costs with homeowners, based on normal vs Net Zero / STEP Code design, with allowance for LCC recovery by the homeowner – so perhaps a 50/50 split – BC govt and/or Fortis funding the gov’t share of the incentive and homeowner the rest?
    b. No interest LOAN to the homeowner who commits to live in the new / retrofit residence for at least five years (or until the energy savings pay off the loan?); if the homeowner moves out early, they must pay back the loan from proceeds of the sale. Loans again to be financed from Fortis, and/or the 1% purchase tax?
    PS: This carriage house project is being instrumented and researched by UBC Okanagan, in order to keep tract of its design/construction costs, as well as its operating costs – so we can begin development of a NET Zero template for the Okanagan, as well as better document LCC profiles here. Several low-carbon construction materials and techniques are also being explored, all at the homeowners’ cost at the moment (I sure hope some any incentives you grant are retroactive!).

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    [-] Don

    A builder in Kamloops just completed a net zero fourplex. Two units still for sale.

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    [-] Neil

    Incentives should strongly favour heat pumps, as they are effectively zero carbon. Most people are unfamiliar with the technology, so incentives must be adequate to reduce the sense of risk associated with something unfamiliar.

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    [-] Charlie

    I have been involved in upgrading 3 strata condo complexes to LED lighting and one of them to high efficiency DHW boilers but more needs to be done. I advocate providing incentives to replace all types of gas fired DHW heaters and gas fireplaces with electric systems but I know from experience that there is tremendous resistance to that, in terms of both capital and running costs and incentives in both areas need to be offered to encourage conversion.

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    [-] Arthur

    Why not change the building code to make all new buildings as energy self-sufficient as possible(solar equipped)?
    Not only would this decrease demand on the existing grid, it would also substantially lower energy costs. The extra expense of the technology amortized over the life of the mortgage would be seemingly negligible.

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