Want to get paid for doing the right thing? Check out the new LiveSmart BC program, which rewards consumers with tax-free incentives for upgrading to high-efficiency heating equipment. This is your big chance to do all those home energy improvements you’ve been putting off – because energy efficiency has never been more affordable!
Who’s eligible to participate?
You may participate if you own an existing single-family house or a permanent mobile home. Condominiums and apartments do not qualify for the program, but single-family rental properties do.
In general, you may apply for a rebate only once for each property you own. However, if you have already participated in the program, but have now moved to a new home, you may apply for incentives for your new home.
The new LiveSmart BC program is available to consumers who had their initial energy assessment on or after April 1, 2010, and who complete their follow-up energy assessment before March 31, 2011. It is still possible to participate in the program, but you should act quickly to make sure you get everything done before next March!
(If you participated in the first LiveSmart BC program, you’ll still receive all the benefits you were promised, but you are not eligible for benefits under the new LiveSmart program.)
What improvements qualify for incentives?
You can receive incentives for installing high-efficiency oil and gas furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. Other home efficiency retrofits (such as insulation upgrades) are also eligible. To qualify, new equipment must have a higher efficiency rating than the equipment it is replacing.
Examples of eligible improvements include:
» Oil or gas furnace replacement
» Oil or gas boiler replacement
» Air or ground source heat pump installation
» Installation of integrated mechanical system to replace existing space and water heating
» Zero clearance furnace replacement
» Heat recovery ventilator installation
» Installation of electronic thermostats
Download the LiveSmart BC brochure for more details.
How do I participate?
First, contact a Certified Energy Advisor to perform an energy assessment of your home. You will receive an initial EnerGuide for Houses rating from your Certified Energy Advisor, plus a report with recommendations for efficiency upgrades.
Using the report as a guide, you will hire a contractor to make energy efficiency improvements to your home. When you are finished, schedule a follow-up assessment from your Certified Energy Advisor. The second assessment must be completed by March 31, 2011 in order for you to be eligible to apply for incentives. After the follow-up assessment, your Certified Energy Advisor will give you an upgraded EnerGuide for Houses rating, and will apply on your behalf for incentive funds.
If you have already started your improvements, you will only be able to get an energy assessment and apply for rebates if an Energy Advisor can perform a blower test in your home (i.e. if there are no holes in the walls or other impediments).
How much money will I get back?
Each individual upgrade is assigned a certain incentive amount. The total incentive you receive will be based on the number and type of upgrades completed, not on how much you spend. Consumers are encouraged to shop around for the best prices and service on items purchased.
You’ll get incentive money for each upgrade you make to your home – there is no maximum amount you can receive!
Will I be taxed on the incentives I receive for my upgrades?
Does it matter how old my home is?
There is no limit on how old a property can be, but homes built before 1985 will benefit most from energy upgrades. If you have a heritage home, it may be possible for you to work with an Energy Advisor who specializes in historic homes so that you can make energy improvements without compromising the character of your home. See Tips for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Traditional Home for more information.