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Rebate Questions

CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program Rebates and Eligibility

I am not in an eligible home, are there any rebates I can access?

If the home you are upgrading or have upgraded is not eligible for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program but is heated primarily by FortisBC natural gas that is billed at a residential rate, you may be eligible to receive rebates directly through FortisBC.

  • To apply for these rebates, use the application forms available directly through FortisBC
  • Applications must also be submitted directly to FortisBC.

If the building you are upgrading is a high-rise building, an apartment building, a stacked townhouse, or condominium that is billed at a commercial rate, your building may be considered a Commercial Building in regards to rebate programs.

  • Commercial Rebate Programs are listed in our rebate search tool. Select Commercial Renovation from the Building Type list.
  • Income qualified households may be able to access free Energy Saving Kits

How can I convert an imperial U-factor to a metric U-factor?

U-factor can be expressed in metric units (W/m2·K) or imperial inch-pound units (Btu/h·ft2·F).

To convert imperial u-factors to metric u-factors, multiply by 5.678.

Example: My contractor has given me a quote for five new windows that I would like to replace. My contractor says they have a U-factor in imperial units (Btu/h·ft2·F) of 0.21 and I want to know what that is in metric units.

0.21 x 5.678 = 1.19 (W/m2·K)

New windows typically have a U-factor between 1.00 and 1.80 (W/m2·K), which converts to between 0.18 and 0.32 (Btu/h·ft2·F).

In order to receive a window rebate through the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program, your windows must be ENERGY STAR® certified, have a metric U-factor (W/m2·K) of 1.22 or less and be listed on Natural Resource Canada’s ENERGY STAR certified fenestration product list.  Learn more about this rebate here.

Why does the rebate only apply to windows that are ENERGY STAR® Certified with a maximum U-factor of 1.22 (W/m2·K)?

The Tier 1 window and door rebate and the Tier 2 window and door rebate is designed to help with the additional cost of highly energy efficient windows.

ENERGY STAR certification with an U-factor < 1.22 (W/m2·K) is an industry benchmark for above average window performance. The U-factor maximum of 1.22 (W/m2·K) aligns with the next update to ENERGY STAR specifications (effective January 2020) as well as Provincial and Federal policies on energy efficient equipment in the building sector.

Why is a variable speed compressor required for many heat pump rebates?

A variable speed compressor is an inverter driven compressor that can adjust its operating speed to match a home’s heat demand. Compared to conventional systems, variable speed systems have higher customer satisfaction rates, increased energy savings and less impact on the electrical grid. For these reasons, a variable speed compressor is required for mini-split, multi-split, and Tier 2 central heat pump rebates.

Variable speed compressors are very common in ductless mini-split systems but are available for mid and high-performance central systems as well. Heat pump installers are advised to speak with their equipment distributors about variable speed product options.

General benefits to a homeowner:

  • More consistent indoor temperatures
  • Quieter start-up of the outdoor unit
  • Quieter operation due to increased time operating at low speeds/airflow
  • Lower energy bills and better return on investment

Performance improvements relative to conventional systems:

  • Higher efficiency at partial loads and significant seasonal energy savings, beyond what is captured in the HSPF and SEER ratings
  • Higher capacity in cold weather and a better match to a home’s heating needs
  • Faster defrost cycles
  • At partial load operation, lower airflow requirements mitigate issues associated with high static pressure in existing ductwork
  • Allows equipment to be sized for heating needs, while maintaining high performance in cooling operation.
  • Gradual start-up is easier on equipment
  • Gradual start-up is easier on local electrical grids
  • Increased performance reduces peak energy demand in the heating season

What are the ENERGY STAR® Climate Zone requirements for window and door installations?

There is no climate zone requirement for window and door installations, but all windows and doors must be ENERGY STAR® certified (any zone) and have a maximum U-factor of 1.40 (W/m2·K), regardless of installation location. Eligible windows and doors can be found on Natural Resource Canada’s ENERGY STAR® certified fenestration product list.

Does the heat pump contractor or homeowner have to provide a capacity specifications sheet from the heat pump manufacturer as part of the program application?

No. The heat pump’s capacity is linked to the AHRI certified reference number (and AHRI certificate) for the system. The AHRI certified reference number (or AHRI certificate) is required for the program application.

What Region is used for the HSPF rating requirements for heat pump installations? Region 4 or 5?

The minimum HSPF rating requirements for all heat pump installations are based on Region 4, regardless of location. Unless otherwise specified, manufacturers’ published HSPF ratings and the HSPF ratings published in the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Directory of Certified Product Performance are based on Region 4. The ratings found in the AHRI directory can be used to fulfill program requirements.

HSPF ratings for Region 5 are sometimes referenced in regulations or shown in reference to a heat pump’s performance in a specific climate. Region 5 metrics come from equipment test data and cannot be directly converted to Region 4 metrics. Region 5 metrics can be requested from manufacturers, but Region 4 metrics should be used for program requirements.

What if I started my renovations before April 01 2019?

The CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program, formerly known as the Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program, provides rebates based on the dates of your invoices.  Rebate amounts may vary.

If you started your upgrades prior to September 28, 2018, please see our FAQ: “What if I started my renovations before September 28, 2018?

Rebates available between September 28, 2018 and March 31, 2019:

  • Invoices dated between September 28, 2018 and March 31, 2019 are processed under these CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program terms & conditions
  • Upgrades with invoices dated between September 28, 2018 and March 31, 2019 will be processed with the rebates below.

Mini-Split and Multi-Split Heat Pumps

Heat Pump Type Requirements Primary Fuel Before Upgrade Rebate
Single-Head
Mini-Split
SEER >18.00
HSPF >10.00
Variable Speed Compressor
FortisBC Electricity $1,200
BC Hydro Electricity $1,000
Fossil Fuel (Oil, Propane, or Natural Gas) $2,000
Multi-Head
Mini-Split
SEER >16.00
HSPF >9.50
Variable Speed Compressor
FortisBC Electricity $2,000
BC Hydro Electricity $1,000
Fossil Fuel (Oil, Propane, or Natural Gas) $2,000

Central Heat Pumps

Heat Pump Type Requirements Primary Fuel Before Upgrade Rebate
Tier 1 Central SEER >15.00
HSPF >8.50
FortisBC Electricity $1,200
BC Hydro Electricity No Rebate
Tier 2 Central SEER >16.00
HSPF >9.50
Variable Speed Compressor
FortisBC Electricity $2,000
BC Hydro Electricity $2,000
Fossil Fuel (Oil, Propane, or Natural Gas) $2,000

Combination Space and Water Heat Pump

Heat Pump Type Requirements Primary Space Heating Fuel Before Upgrade Primary Water Heating Fuel Before Upgrade Bonus Offer Count Rebate
Combination Space and Water Heat Pump Requires pre-approval from betterhomesbc@gov.bc.ca before installation Fossil Fuel Fossil Fuel 2 $3,000
Fossil Fuel Electric 1 $3,000
Electric Fossil Fuel 1 $1,000
Electric Electric N/A   $0

 Window and Door Replacements

  • New windows/doors must be ENERGY STAR® certified. The products must be listed on the ENERGY STAR certified fenestration list for windows and doors.
  • New windows/doors must have a metric U-Factor of 1.22 (W/m2·K) or lower.
  • Rebate of $50 per window and door, maximum of $1,000.

 

What if I started my renovations before September 28, 2018?

The CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program, formerly known as the Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program, provides rebates based on the dates of your invoices. Rebate amounts may vary.

The program terms and conditions that apply are also determined by the invoice date of your upgrades and the date of your pre-retrofit EnerGuide Home Evaluation, if you had one.

If you began your upgrades between September 28, 2018 and March 31, 2019, see our FAQ What if I started my renovations before April 01, 2019?

For additional information, check out bchydro.com/homerebates and fortisbc.com/homerebates

My upgrades were installed…
Before September 28, 2018 After September 28, 2018
I can access…. I can access…
The terms and conditions for the Home Renovation Rebate & EfficiencyBC Program have been updated on April 1, 2019. Please review the applicable terms and conditions as shown below.
  • For upgrades installed between September 28, 2018 & March 31, 2019: Home Renovation Rebate & EfficiencyBC Program terms & conditions
  • For upgrades installed on or after April 1, 2019: Home Renovation Rebate & EfficiencyBC Program terms & conditions

 

  • N/A
  • $150 Energy Coach Home Evaluation Rebate
  • $750 Bonus Offer
  • Up to $500 Draftproofing Rebate*
  • N/A

 

My pre-retrofit EnerGuide Home Evaluation occurred…
Before September 28, 2018 After September 28, 2018
I can access…. I can access…
  • N/A
  • $150 Energy Coach Home Evaluation Rebate
  • $750 Bonus Offer
  • Up to $500 Draftproofing Rebate*
  • N/A

*If the draftproofing work was completed prior to September 28, 2018 (as determined by date on draftproofing invoices and receipts) you can access the rebate of up to $500. If the work was completed after September 28, 2018, you cannot access the up to $500 draftproofing rebate. However, as long as your pre-retrofit evaluation was before September 28, 2018, draftproofing can be counted as an eligible upgrade towards the $750 Bonus Offer regardless of when the work was complete.

If you completed a pre-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation before September 28, 2018, but install three upgrades after September 28, 2018, you can access the Home Renovation Rebate Program $750 Bonus Offer and the Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program individual rebates as long as:

  • The three upgrades you install meet the terms and conditions for the Home Renovation Rebate Program’s $750 Bonus Offer; and
  • The individual upgrades meet the terms and conditions for the Home Renovation Rebate and Efficiency BC Program.

Home Renovation Rebate Program Deadlines

$750 Bonus Offer

If you completed a pre-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation before September 28, 2018, you will have:

  • 36 months from the time of your pre-retrofit evaluation to install three eligible upgrades, have your energy advisor complete a post-retrofit evaluation and your rebate application using the Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC online application form.
  • The upgrades you are counting towards the $750 Bonus Offer must meet the terms and conditions of the Home Renovation Rebate Program.

Individual Upgrades

You can no longer apply for individual rebates for upgrades that were installed before September 28, 2018.

Energy Coach Home Evaluation Rebate

If you completed a pre-retrofit energy evaluation before September 28, 2018 and a post-retrofit energy evaluation within 36 months:

  • You can still apply for the $150 Energy Coach Home Evaluation Rebate.
  • You will not be eligible for the $300 EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate through the Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program.

Draftproofing

If you completed a pre-retrofit energy evaluation before September 28, 2018 and a post-retrofit energy evaluation within 36 months

  • You can still apply for the $500 draftproofing rebate if the work was completed before September 28, 2018 (as per the date on your draftproofing invoices and receipts).
  • If the draftproofing work was completed after September 28, 2018, you cannot access the draftproofing rebate for up to $500.
  • In either case, you can count draftproofing towards the Bonus Offer.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

 

How much will my rebate be for the Home Energy Improvement Bonus?

The Home Energy Improvement Bonus is a rebate provided to homes that complete EnerGuide Rating System evaluations and install three or more bonus-eligible home energy upgrades. The rebate is calculated as the percentage change between your pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide rating.* The bigger the percentage change in your EnerGuide rating, the larger the bonus rebate you will receive. Different combinations of bonus eligible upgrades will provide higher rebates than others. Work with a Program-Qualified Energy Advisor to determine the right Home Energy Improvement Plan for your home.

 

Remember: The Home Energy Improvement Bonus is a rebate you receive in addition to the individual rebates and the EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate. The chart below shows the potential range of the Home Energy Improvement Bonus amounts based on your heating system and  type of upgrades undertaken.

 

Home Heating System Upgrade Combinations Average Range of Home Energy Improvement Bonus,** plus EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate
Natural Gas and Oil Air Source Heat Pump  + 2 eligible upgrades $1100 to $1800
Natural Gas and Oil 3 eligible upgrades $450 to $1100
Electric Air Source Heat Pump + 2 eligible upgrades $900 to $1500
Electric 3 eligible upgrades $450 to $900

 

Important notes:

  • Be sure to follow the Home Energy Improvement Bonus Eligibility Requirements
  • If your community provides municipal top-ups, including EnerGuide Home Evaluation Top-ups and/or Convert to Electric Heat Pump Space Heating Top-ups there may be an additional $500 to $2150 in rebates available.
  • If your home is older, poorly insulated, drafty, or has less efficient space and water heating systems, it may be easier for you to achieve a greater percentage reduction in your EnerGuide score and receive a rebate in the upper range or even higher than the amounts shown above; if your home is newer, well insulated, well air sealed or has more efficient space and water heating systems, it may be harder for you to achieve a large percentage reduction in your EnerGuide score and you may receive a rebate in the lower range or lower than shown above.
  • Some types of changes to your home will increase the energy consumption of your home and reduce the Home Energy Improvement Bonus you may be eligible for: Switching from electricity to natural gas space or hot water heating systems, adding a new gas fireplace, adding new window or door openings, or expanding the size of your home.
  • Energy improvements that are not bonus eligible but improve the efficiency of your home will still be factored into the bonus rebate amount. For example, draftproofing, insulation upgrades under the eligibility threshold, solar hot water, and other upgrades will all improve the efficiency of your home and help boost your rebate amount

 

To get started: Schedule an EnerGuide home evaluation with a Program-Qualified Energy Advisor. The energy advisor will provide you with recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home and help you determine which upgrade options are bonus-eligible and what your bonus rebate is likely to be.

 

* The Home Energy Improvement Bonus amount is calculated as $20 multiplied by the percentage reduction in your home’s EnerGuide rating (in gigajoules per year, or GJ/year) between your pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation. Three eligible upgrades are required. To see an example of how the rebate is calculated, see How does the Home Energy Improvement Bonus Work?

**This Home Energy Improvement Bonus range is provided as an average range of rebates and includes the $300 EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate. The actual rebate you will receive will depend upon a wide range of factors.

How does the Home Energy Improvement Bonus work?

The Home Energy Improvement Bonus is a rebate of up to $2000 for improving your EnerGuide rating by installing three or more bonus-eligible upgrades. A pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation is required to determine the change in the EnerGuide rating of your home and the rebate amount. The Home Energy Improvement Bonus is paid out in addition to the rebates paid for eligible individual rebates.

Bonus-eligible upgrades include:

The Home Energy Improvement Bonus amount is calculated as $20 multiplied by the percentage reduction in your home’s EnerGuide rating (in gigajoules per year, or GJ/year) between your pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation.

For example: If your pre-retrofit EnerGuide rating was 250 GJ/year and your post-retrofit EnerGuide rating is 200 GJ/year you would do the following calculations:

  1. 250 GJ/year – 200 GJ/year = 50 GJ/year [This is the change in GJ/year of your EnerGuide rating.]
  2. 50 GJ/year ÷ 250 GJ/year = 0.20
  3. 20 x 100 = 20 [You have achieved a 20 percent reduction in your home’s EnerGuide rating.]
  4. $20.00 x 20 = $400.00 [This is the incentive you will receive, in addition to the individual rebates and the EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate.]

The Energy Efficiency Action Roadmap section of your EnerGuide Renovation Upgrade Report includes an estimate of GJ savings for recommended upgrades. See our FAQ How much will my incentive be for the Home Energy Improvement Bonus? to see the potential range of Home Energy Improvement Bonus rebate amounts based on the upgrades you do.

Keep in mind that not all upgrades recommended in your EnerGuide Renovation Upgrade Report are bonus-eligible. Always review the program terms and conditions before any renovations begin to ensure your upgrades will be eligible.

Even though some energy efficiency upgrades are not bonus-eligible, they may still improve your EnerGuide rating. For example, draftproofing (air sealing) is not a bonus-eligible upgrade but air sealing upgrades will improve (lower) your EnerGuide rating and allow you to access a higher bonus rebate.

If your renovation plans include upgrades that are not bonus eligible, ensure that at least three other upgrades are eligible so you can access the Home Energy Improvement Bonus. Other upgrades that are not bonus eligible but will contribute to lowering your EnerGuide rating and increasing your bonus rebate amount include:

  • Insulation upgrades that have received individual rebates under $500 in value or that are not eligible for the individual rebate (DIY installation)
  • Foundation insulation
  • Exposed floor, floor over crawlspace or basement header insulation
  • Solar hot water upgrades
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Draftproofing/Air-sealing

To get started: Schedule an EnerGuide home evaluation with a Program-Qualified Energy Advisor. The energy advisor will provide you with recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your home and can assist with determining which upgrade options are bonus-eligible.

What if I want to install an air-to-water heat pump or combination space and water heating heat pump?

Some systems may be eligible. Contact the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for pre-approval before you install your system. Email betterhomesbc@gov.bc.ca with your location, current heating system, and the make and model of all components of your proposed heat pump system.

The proposed system must replace a fossil fuel (oil, propane or natural gas) heating system to be eligible and must be sufficiently sized to operate as the primary heating system for the home. A heat load calculation will be required.

How do I find eligible heat pump models?

Your HVAC contractor can help you select an eligible heat pump. Make sure to tell them you would like to install an eligible model and apply for rebates.

Eligible heat pumps can be found in the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute’s heat pump directories:

Mini-split systems

  • Tip: in the Quick Search Criteria choose “Mini-splits” in the Select Indoor Type
    • When upgrading from electric heating:
      • Single Head: SEER: 18 or higher, HSPF: 10 or higher
    • When upgrading from fossil fuel heating:
      • Single Head: SEER 16 or higher, HSPF: 9.3 or higher

Multi-split systems

  • Tip: in the Quick Search Criteria choose “Ducted Indoor Units,” “Non-Ducted Indoor Units,” “Mixed Ducted and Non-Ducted Indoor Units,” or “Specific” in the Select Indoor Type
    • When upgrading from electric heating:
      • Multi Head: SEER: 16 or higher, HSPF: 9.3 or higher
    • When upgrading from fossil fuel heating:
      • Multi Head: SEER: 16 or higher, HSPF: 9.3 or higher

Central Systems

  • Tip: in the Quick Search Criteria enter the minimum SEER and minimum HSPF (Region IV) values for the incentive you are applying for:
    • When upgrading from electric or fossil fuel heating:
      • Tier 1: SEER: 8.5 or higher, HSPF: 15 or higher
      • Tier 2: SEER: 9.3 or higher, HSPF: 16 or higher

Please see our FAQ, What are the heat pump requirements for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program? for a complete list of heat pump requirements.

Am I eligible for a heat pump rebate if it is combined with a gas, propane, or oil furnace as backup?

Heat pump eligibility depends on the type of back-up being installed with the heat pump.

Applicable to All Homes

  • Mini-split and multi-split heat pumps combined with natural gas or propane heating are not eligible for a heat pump rebate.

Homes Heated Primarily by Natural Gas or Propane

  • Homes that are primarily heated by natural gas or propane who convert their primary heating system a heat pump with to a gas backup are eligible a heat pump rebate provided:
    • They are replacing an existing natural gas propane or propane furnace as the primary heating system.
    • The thermostat, outdoor temperature switch-over control or equipment control board must be set to the following temperatures for the life of the system:
      • Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland: 0oC
      • Southern Interior and Northern BC: -5oC
    • The heat pump must be sized to ensure that it has the capacity to meet the heat demand at or below the temperature set points above.  A heat load calculation is required, see What are the load calculation requirements for heat pumps?
    • Additionally, the AHRI certified reference number must show that the outdoor unit, indoor unit and furnace are a tested combination.
    • You may re-use the existing air handler to create a combination gas furnace/heat pump system. The system must be modified according to all applicable laws.
  • Note: Combining a central heat pump with a natural gas backup or propane backup is eligible for the central heat pump rebate and any applicable Municipal Offers provided all other program Terms and Conditions are met.

 Homes Heated Primarily by Electricity

  • Homes that are primarily heated by electricity who install a heat pump with a gas backup are not eligible for a heat pump rebate.

Homes Heated Primarily by Oil

  • Any heat pumps combined with oil heating are not eligible for a heat pump rebate, unless they meet the following criteria:
    • Residents of Northern BC (ASHRAE Climate Zone 6, 7A, 7B or 8) with premises heated primarily by an oil furnace before the heat pump upgrade are exempt from the requirement to remove and decommission the oil furnace. They may still use the oil furnace as a back-up heating source.
    • For help identifying which climate zone your home is in, check out our What is my climate zone? FAQ.

 

How does the rebate program count windows/ what is a rough opening?

The number of windows or doors eligible for rebates is based on the number of rough openings in which windows or doors were replaced. A rough opening is the framed opening of a window or door that may be able to hold one or more windows and/or doors. Each rough opening is counted as one window and/or door. For example, a bay window, which may be made up of several window sections, is regarded as one rough opening.

What rebate is available for upgrading to a heat pump?

Up to $3,000 is available for air source heat pump upgrades from the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program. The rebate amount varies depending on your electricity provider (BC Hydro or FortisBC), your primary heating fuel before the upgrade, the type of heat pump you want to install (mini-split, multi-split or central system), and the efficiency ratings of the system. A table is available for reference below, summarizing available rebates.

Some municipalities are currently offering additional incentives for heat pumps that are replacing natural gas, propane, or oil heating systems.

For more information on heat pump eligibility, see our FAQ What are the heat pump requirements for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

For more information on what Municipal Offers are available, see our FAQ Are there Municipal Offers available and how do I access them?

 

Heat Pump Minimum Efficiency Ratings Rebate Amount
HSPF SEER Electricity from

BC Hydro

before upgrade

Electricity from

FortisBC

before upgrade

Fossil Fuel

(oil, propane or natural gas)

before upgrade

Variable Speed Mini Split

(single head installation)

>10.00 >18.00 $1,000 $1,200 N/A
Variable Speed  Mini Split

(single head installation)

>9.30 >16.00 N/A N/A $3,000
Variable Speed  Multi Split

(multiple head installation)

>9.30 >16.00 $1,000 $2,000 $3,000
Central System (Tier 1) >8.50 >15.00 N/A $1,200 $1,200
Variable Speed  Central System (Tier 2) >9.30 >16.00 $2,000 $2,000 $3,000
Combination Space and Water Heat Pump Requires pre-approval by contacting betterhomesbc@gov.bc.ca Up to $3,000 is available.

Check out the Combination Space and Water Heat Pump Incentive page for more information.

 

What are the heat pump requirements for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

Requirements for installing a heat pump vary depending on your electricity provider (BC Hydro or FortisBC), your primary heating fuel before the upgrade, the type of heat pump you want to install (mini-split or central system), and the efficiency ratings of the system.

For information on what rebates are available, see What rebate is available for upgrading to a heat pump?

General heat pump requirements:

  • Replacing or upgrading an existing or broken heat pump is not eligible for a rebate.
  • The heat pump must be installed by a licensed contractor with a valid BC business license for the trade applicable to the installation work.
  • Only air-source heat pumps are eligible for rebates. Geoexchange (ground-source) heat pumps are not eligible.
  • If the home is currently heated with electricity, the heat pump must replace a hard-wired electric heating system such as baseboards, radiant ceiling, radiant floors or forced air furnace. However, these systems do not need to be removed.
  • If the home is currently heated with oil, all oil heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned according to all relevant regulations and bylaws. If you are a resident of Northern BC (BCBC Climate Zone 6, 7A, 7B or 8) and currently heat your home with oil, please see the FAQ, Am I eligible for a heat pump rebate if it is combined with a gas, propane, or oil furnace as backup?
  • If the home is currently heated with natural gas, all gas heating equipment must be removed, decommissioned, or modified according to all relevant regulations and bylaws. For a Tier 2 central heat pump, an existing natural gas furnace air handler may be re-used if its model number is included on the AHRI certificate for the new system. For more information and additional requirements, please see the FAQ Am I eligible for a heat pump rebate if it is combined with a gas, propane, or oil furnace as backup?
  • See program terms and conditions for additional requirements.

 

Mini-Split Single Head Installation Requirements:

  • When converting from fossil fuel heating, the system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.3 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • When converting from electric heating, the system must have a SEER rating of 18 or higher, a HSPF of 10 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • If the home was heated primarily by fossil fuels (oil, natural gas or propane) prior to the installation of the new heat pump, all such fossil fuel heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • The indoor unit (head) must serve a main living area of the home.
  • Premises with a natural gas or propane fireplace are eligible if the fireplace is a secondary heating system.
  • Single head mini-split heat pumps cannot have a fossil fuel back-up system.

 

Mini-Split Multiple Head Installation Requirements:

  • The system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.5 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • If the home was heated primarily by fossil fuels (oil, natural gas or propane) prior to the installation of the new heat pump, all such fossil fuel heating equipment must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • At least one indoor unit (head) must serve a main living area of the home.
  • Multi-head mini-split heat pumps cannot have a fossil fuel back-up system.

 

Central Heat Pump Requirements:

Tier 1 Central Heat Pump Requirements:

  • Only homes that are heated primarily by electricity provided by FortisBC or by fossil fuels are eligible for the Tier 1 Central Heat Pump rebate.
  • The system must have a SEER rating of 15, a HSPF of 8.5 or higher, and an AHRI certified reference number.
  • A variable speed compressor is not required.

 

Tier 2 Central Heat Pump Requirements:

  • The system must have a SEER rating of 16 or higher, a HSPF of 9.5 or higher, a variable speed compressor, and an AHRI certified reference number.

 

Central Heat Pump Requirements – Tier 1 & Tier 2:

  • The system must have a maximum static pressure of 0.6” WC or higher. This information is available in the technical specifications of a heat pump system.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by oil before the heat pump upgrade, the heat pump must replace the oil heating system and all such oil heating equipment (tank, furnace or boiler, and associated infrastructure) must be removed or decommissioned in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by gas or propane before the heat pump upgrade and the heat pump is replacing the gas or propane heating system, all gas heating equipment (piping, appliances, fuel containers, vents and associated infrastructure) must be removed, decommissioned or modified in accordance with all applicable laws.
  • If the Premises was heated primarily by gas or propane before the heat pump upgrade and the heat pump is being integrated into a combination gas furnace/electric heat pump, all such gas heating equipment (piping, appliance, fuel containers, vents and associated infrastructure) must be modified in accordance with all applicable laws. Combination gas furnace/electric heat pump systems are only eligible, provided:
    • If the gas furnace/electric heat pump system has been installed after November 01, 2018, a heating and cooling load calculation is completed to properly size the system. See What are the load calculation requirements for heat pumps? For more information.
    • The thermostat, outdoor temperature switch-over control or equipment control board is set to the following region-specific temperatures for the duration of the product lifetime:
      • Switch-over temperature for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island regions: 0°C.
      • Switch-over temperature for the Southern Interior and Northern BC: -5°C;
    • The heat pump must be sized to ensure that it has the capacity to meet the Premises’ heat demand at or below the region-specific outdoor set-point.
    • The system, whether purchased as a whole new system or created by retrofitting an existing gas furnace, must have an AHRI certified reference number that shows the outdoor unit, indoor unit and furnace are a tested combination. An existing furnace air handler may be re-used if its model number is included on the AHRI certificate for the new system.

What are the load calculation requirements for heat pumps?

Update

The CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program requires that CSA F280-12 load calculations are performed in order to qualify for a rebate. While CleanBC strongly recommends load calculations be completed for all heat pump installations, this requirements has been removed for the present time for all heat pump installations, except for air-source heat pump installations that are combined with a natural gas or propane furnace as backup. Please see below for the load calculation requirements for combination systems.

Load Calculation Requirements

A load calculation is required for all air-source heat pumps in a combination furnace/heat pump system that are installed on or after November 1, 2018. This is being required to ensure the equipment is sized per program requirements (which helps to ensure program objectives of emission reduction occur), and encourage high-quality installations.

Rule-of-thumb equipment sizing will not be accepted.

Contractors can perform the load calculation by using any of the following options:

  • the HRAI Residential Heat Loss & Heat Gain technical manual in combination with the Microsoft Excel-based spreadsheets supplied with the CAN/CSA F280-12 standard
  • a software that uses the CAN/CSA F280-12 calculation methodology. For example, TECA’s Quality First software is being used with the CAN/CSA F280-12 methodology . Other software such as Right-F280 has been on the market since 2015.
  • a software or worksheet that uses the CAN/CSA F280-90 calculation methodology.
  • a software or worksheet that uses methodology from Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J
  • a software or worksheet that uses methodology from TECA’s Quality First Forced Air Guidelines (5th edition 2008)

A copy of the load calculation is part of the required documentation. The load calculation can be documented by a submittal sheet from compliant software or by a load calculation worksheet from TECA, HRAI, ACCA or the CSA F280 standard.

If your contractor is not sure if their current heat load calculation methodology meets these criteria, please have them contact betterhomesbc@gov.bc.ca.

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Thermal Environment Comfort Association (TECA) both offer training courses on CAN/CSA F280-12 load calculations. HRAI offers a 4-day course in Victoria and Vancouver. TECA is currently updating its Forced Air Guidelines Course with CAN/CSA F280-12 material and will be offering it throughout BC. Both organisations also offer technical manuals on residential heat loss and heat gain load calculations. There are a large number of available software solutions and mobile apps that allow you to do Manual J calculations.

How are insulation rebates calculated?

The CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program requires the following information to calculate your rebate:

  • The R-value of new insulation added
  • The square feet covered by new insulation

The R-value that you have added is multiplied by the square feet covered, and then by a specific dollar amount that differs for each area of your home, as indicated in the table below.

Location Installed Minimum R-Value Added Dollar amount for rebate calculation Maximum Rebate
Attic (flat and cathedral ceiling) R12 $0.02 $900
Exterior wall cavities R12 $0.09 $1200
Exterior wall sheathing R3.8 $0.09 $1200
Basement/crawlspace Walls R10 $0.09 $1200
Other (exposed floor, floor over crawlspace, basement header) R20 $0.07 $1000

Example: I had R20 of existing insulation in my attic and added R30 for a total of R50. I covered 900 square feet. My rebate is calculated as follows:

R30 × 900 sf x $0.02 = $540

My rebate for this work is $540.

Please note:

  • Rebates are calculated based on the R-value of new insulation added and not the total combined final R-value for new and pre-existing insulation.
  • The insulation added must have a minimum R-value added per location outlined in the table above.
  • A minimum rebate of $500 is required for each insulation location to be eligible for either for both the Two Upgrade Bonus and the Home Energy Improvement Bonus.
  • The insulation rebate amount cannot exceed the installed cost of the eligible upgrade indicated on the invoice.
  • You cannot access a rebate for both crawlspace wall and floor above crawlspace – you must choose one or the other.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

Are there any Municipal Offers (local government top-ups)?

Some municipalities are offering top-up rebates for heat pumps and EnerGuide home evaluations. Municipal heat pump rebates are available for homes that are converting from fossil fuel heating (natural gas, oil or propane) to an electric air-source heat pump for space heating. EnerGuide home evaluation rebate top ups are available for all homes, regardless of heating fuel.

Municipal top-up rebates are automatically calculated when participants submit their program application online. No additional paperwork is required.

Municipal Offers vary by location, check out our rebate search tool for offers in your area.

Current municipal top ups include:

Municipality EnerGuide Evaluation Top-up Convert to Electric Heat Pump Space Heating Top-up
City of Vancouver $150 $2,000
Capital Regional District* $350
City of Victoria* $350
District of Saanich* $350
City of Kamloops $150
City of Richmond $150
City of Campbell River $150 $2,000
Comox Valley Regional District $150 $350
City of North Vancouver $150 $350
Resort Municipality of Whistler $2,000
City of Powell River $350

Does foil insulation count towards the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

The CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program terms and conditions state that batts, loose fill, board and spray foam are eligible insulation types. Only products with Canadian R-values provided by the manufacturer are accepted. “System values” or values of materials not tested to Canadian national thermal insulation standards cannot be used for determining the amount of insulation added.

However, your contractor may install insulation that is foil backed. The insulating value of this is obtained by adding the thermal resistance value (R-value) of the insulation to the R-value of the foil insulation. If the R-value of the insulation (excluding the foil) meet the minimum requirements of the rebate program, it will be eligible and you can count it towards the insulation rebate.

Foil insulation is essentially a plastic bubble wrap sheet with a reflective foil layer, belonging to a class of products known as radiant foils. In Canada, these types of insulation often have R-values of R0 to R3.5. If there is no air space or clear bubble layer the R-value is R-0. Keeping the performance attribute of foil insulation in mind when planning insulation upgrades is important to ensure your upgrade maximizes its performance effectiveness. For more information on the different types of insulation, visit the Natural Resources Canada resource, Keeping The Heat In.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program Application Process

What are the documentation requirements for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

To access rebates from the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program you are required to provide supporting documentation (invoices from the contractor) with your rebate application. Please read the terms and conditions for a complete list of invoice and supplementary documentation requirements.

Invoices must meet these requirements:

  • All service invoices/receipts must indicate details of the work performed and the address where the work was performed.
  • The contractor’s company name, contact information (phone and/or email), address and GST number must be on the invoices.
  • All product purchase invoices/receipts must have the product’s brand, model number, and purchase date.
  • Gas installation requires a natural gas permit number and Technical Safety BC  gas contractor licence number.
  • Window invoices must include the Canadian ENERGY STAR® qualification of each window and door including the NRCan reference numbers for each window and doors and the U-factor rating (W/m2K) of each window and door.
  • All copies of invoices and documentation must be clear and legible.

For detailed documentation requirements by energy upgrade see below for sample invoices that show what the contractor/homeowner should include.

Some rebates require additional supporting documentation. Be sure to go over the terms and conditions for a complete list of invoice and supplementary documentation requirements.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

How long will it take to receive my rebate from the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

Processing of applications may take up to 90 days from the date that all required application documents are received. When you submit an online application form you will be provided with a tracking number and confirmation that your application has been received. The status of CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program rebate applications can be tracked using the online application tracker.

Program partners are not responsible for lost, delayed, damaged, ineligible, or incomplete applications.

Rebate payments can be issued either in form of a cheque, credit on bill, or e-transfer to the Participant.

What are the application deadlines for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program?

In order to be eligible for any of the rebates offered by the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program the upgrades must be installed on or after September 28, 2018.

Individual Upgrades

The program application and all supporting documentation for each upgrade must be submitted within 6 months of the invoice date of the upgrade.

EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate

In order to receive the $300 EnerGuide Home Evaluation Rebate for a pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation, the pre-retrofit evaluation must take place on or after September 28, 2018. The post-retrofit evaluation must be completed within 18 months of the pre-retrofit evaluation and the application form must be submitted within 6 months of the post-retrofit evaluation.

Two Upgrade Bonus

To be eligible for the $300 Two Upgrade Bonus, the first upgrade must be installed on or after September 28, 2018 and the second bonus-eligible upgrades must be installed within 18 months of the installation of the first bonus-eligible upgrade. The Two Upgrade Bonus application must be submitted within 6 months of the invoice date of the second bonus-eligible upgrade.

Home Energy Improvement Bonus

To be eligible for the Home Energy Improvement Bonus, your pre-retrofit evaluation must take place on or after September 28, 2018. You must install three or more bonus-eligible upgrades, and complete a post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation within 18 months of your pre-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation. The Home Energy Improvement Bonus application must be submitted within 6 months of the post-retrofit evaluation.

Energy Advisor Supported Rebates – the Energy Advisor Supported Rebates form must be completed and submitted by the energy advisor who completes the post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation within 30 days of the homeowner submitting their program application. You will need to provide your energy advisor with your application reference number.

What do I do if I’m having issues with the online application form?

If you are having issues with your online rebate application form, all application assistance is provided by the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program directly. EfficiencyBC energy coaches provide technical assistance related to improving the efficiency of your home and do not have access to the file submission data, system performance, or other technical aspects of the online application.

For known issues and fixes, please find suggestions below. If these fixes do not work, contact technical assistance at the rebate program for more in-depth aid in solving the issue.

Known issues and suggested work-arounds:

  • PDF file will not upload – Upload a .jpeg file of the supporting document instead
  • No confirmation upon application submission – call Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program directly
  • Very long loading times once application is submitted – call Home Renovation Rebate and EfficiencyBC Program directly

To contact the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program for technical assistance, call 1.877.338.3347 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or email homerebates@bchydro.com.

General Rebates and Upgrades

What is my climate zone?

To identify which climate zone your home is in, reference the city listing or map of BC’s climate zones below. If you are not able to determine your zone please email betterhomesbc@gov.bc.ca for additional support.

What are municipal utility providers?

Municipal utility providers are located within the service territories of BC Hydro or FortisBC. These municipalities sell electricity directly to their customers.

Municipal utility providers within the BC Hydro service territory:

  • New Westminster

Municipal utility providers within the FortisBC service territory:

  • Grand Forks
  • Summerland
  • Penticton
  • Nelson

Are there any rebates for draftproofing?

There are currently no individual rebates for draftproofing (air sealing). However, draftproofing can reduce energy use in your home and increase the rebate amount of the Home Energy Improvement Bonus.

The Home Energy Improvement Bonus requires that you complete a minimum of 3 eligible upgrades between a pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation. The rebate amount is calculated based on the percentage reduction in your EnerGuide rating, measured in gigajoules per year (GJ/year). $20 is provided for every percent reduction in your EnerGuide rating.

Draftproofing leads to a more airtight building envelope which means a more energy efficient home and a decrease in your post-retrofit EnerGuide rating. Remember – the lower your EnerGuide rating the more efficient your home!

How much draftproofing may contribute to your Home Energy Improvement Bonus amount is highly variable and depends on how drafty your home was prior to draftproofing and on the quality of installation of the upgrades that are undertaken in your home. It is important to note that well-installed windows, doors, insulation and other upgrades can contribute to making your home less drafty and will provide you with a higher Home Energy Improvement Bonus rebate amount.

To get started: Schedule an EnerGuide home evaluation with a program-qualified energy advisor. The energy advisor will provide you with a list of draftproofing opportunities and identify the potential for improving your home’s energy efficiency, reducing your EnerGuide rating and accessing the bonus rebate.

What is my primary heating system?

To participate in the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program, your home must be currently primarily heated Your home must be primarily heated with natural gas or piped-propane supplied by FortisBC, electricity supplied by FortisBC, BC Hydro, or a municipal utility, or with oil or propane not supplied FortisBC

A primary heating system is a heat system with the capacity to heat a minimum of 50% of the home for the entire heating season to 21ºC. Determination of the primary heating type is at the sole discretion of the rebate program Partners.

If you have multiple heating types and are unsure which heating type is your primary please contact the rebate program directly at 1.877.338.3347 ext. 2 or 3

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

What rebates are available and how do I access them?

There are many rebate programs available for improving the energy efficiency of homes in BC, and each program is different. Visit our rebate search tool to find the right program(s) for you.

Some rebates are provided by your energy utilities, some by local, regional, or provincial government, some from lending institutions, and more. Some are for specific upgrades, some are for completing three or more upgrades, and some reward overall energy efficiency improvements.

Take the time to read thoroughly about the rebates you’re interested in. Find out which incentives you are eligible for based on:

  • Where you live;
  • Your utility provider;
  • The age of your home;
  • Whether you need an EnerGuide home evaluation before starting;
  • Whether you can do it yourself or if you need a licensed contractor;
  • What kinds of documentation are needed (receipts, permits, etc.); and
  • What the rebates deadlines are.

If you have any questions, you can also contact us.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

What is meant by “12 months of consecutive billing history”?

Some rebate programs require that your home has 12 months of consecutive utility billing history prior to the installation of energy efficiency upgrade(s).

This requirement is regarding the utility billing history of the home itself. It does not have to be your personal utility billing history. It means that the house has to have been occupied for at least 12 months immediately prior to your application. In other words, newly constructed homes are not eligible for the program.

If you recently purchased an existing home, as long as someone was occupying the home for 12 months before your renovations begin, the home will have 12 months of consecutive billing history.

If you are unsure of your home’s utility usage, and would like to confirm your eligibility, contact your utility provider.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

I live in an apartment/condo and would like to do some energy efficiency upgrades. Are there any rebates available to me?

As a resident in an apartment or condo, there are a few different rebate offers you can consider. If you live in an income-qualifying household you can apply for a Free Energy Saving Kit from BC Hydro, FortisBC, or Pacific Northern Gas.

If you purchase and install eligible ENERGY STAR® appliances, you may be eligible for appliance rebates through BC Hydro and FortisBC:

  • BC Hydro Appliance Rebate Program: receive a rebate between $25-$100 for replacing your current clothes washer, refrigerator, and clothes dryer with qualifying ENERGY STAR models. Check the BC Hydro Appliance rebate program before you make any purchases to determine the status of the program, as well as the eligibility of the model.
  • FortisBC Appliance Rebates: receive a rebate between $50-$250 for replacing your clothes washer, clothes dryer, or refrigerator with qualifying ENERGY STAR models. Check the FortisBC website before you make any purchases to determine the status of the program, as well as the eligibility of the model.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

Am I required to have an EnerGuide home evaluation in order to apply for rebates?

Some incentive programs require an EnerGuide home evaluation prior to completing upgrades and after upgrades are completed. Other programs recommend but do not require an EnerGuide home evaluation.

Be sure to find out before you start your renovations if you need an energy evaluation. Visit our rebate search tool for program details or click here to locate an energy advisor.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

Are there rebates for LED lights?

Instant in-store rebates for LED lighting are offered seasonally to BC Hydro and FortisBC customers. Use our rebate search tool and selecting ‘Lighting’ to see if these rebates are currently available.

Income-qualified households may be able to access LED lights and bulbs through the following free programs offered by FortisBC and BC Hydro:

The Energy Conservation Assistance Program is available to income-qualified households and provides an in-home visit with free energy-saving product installation, including energy-saving light-bulbs.

The Free Energy Saving Kits Program is available to income-qualified BC Hydro customers, PNG customers, FortisBC electric customers, and municipal electric customers. Participants in this program can receive LED bulbs, an LED night light, and other energy-efficient products.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

Can I receive a rebate if I already installed the upgrade?

The deadlines and eligibility criteria vary across the different rebate programs, so it is important to check the details for the specific program you are pursuing.

Use the rebate search tool to find rebate programs for the energy upgrades that you have completed and to check if you still have time to apply. Along with submitting your application on time, it is important to ensure that you have met the program’s eligibility requirements.

Some rebates require you to have completed an EnerGuide home evaluation before you installed your upgrades. If you did not have an evaluation prior to installing the upgrade, you will not be eligible for the rebate.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

Is my home eligible for rebates or an EnerGuide home evaluation?

To access rebates through the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program, or to have an EnerGuide home evaluation completed, your home must meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.

CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program

To be eligible for this rebate program, homes must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be connected with a current residential utility service account to FortisBC and/or BC Hydro. Electrically heated homes served by local municipal utilities within the service territories of BC Hydro or FortisBC (electricity) are also eligible.
  • Be one of the following types of residential buildings:
    • single family detached dwelling;
    • mobile home on a permanent foundation;
    • or side-by-side duplex, side-by-side row home or townhouse (provided that each unit has its own natural gas and/or electricity meter). Utility accounts in the name of a strata corporation are not eligible.
  • Have 12 months of consecutive utility billing history for the period immediately prior to the installation of energy efficiency upgrade(s).

Please note: Multi-unit residential buildings (such as high-rises and apartment buildings), garages, workshops, and out buildings are not eligible for the CleanBC Better Homes and Home Renovation Rebate Program.

EnerGuide Home Evaluation

To be eligible for an EnerGuide evaluation for existing homes, your home must be one of the following home types:

  • single family detached
  • semi-detached
  • row home or town home
  • mobile home on a permanent foundation
  • permanently moored float home

A home must also be in an ‘eligible state’, which means that:

  • The building is resting on a permanent foundation(s) or is a permanently moored float home.
  • There is a space heating system in place at the time of the evaluation that is capable (or was, in the case of a heating system failure) of keeping the interior living space at 21 degrees Celsius.
  • The envelope is intact, including the exposed ceilings, exterior walls, exposed floors, windows and doors, and interior and exterior finishes (e.g., drywall, and exterior siding).
  • Up to one window or door unit can be missing as long as it is temporarily air sealed (e.g., covered with plywood with seams and edges sealed with caulking). Any broken window panes must also be air sealed (e.g., with taped polyethylene) for the duration of the blower door test. If the temporary air sealing fails during the blower door test, the building will be considered ineligible.
  • Any renovations underway only affect interior partitions of the dwelling and do not perforate the building envelope.
  • There must be a supply of standard AC electrical power available. If power is not available from a utility, the homeowner must come to an agreement with the service organization about arranging for a suitable power supply to operate the blower door test equipment.

For more information on eligibility requirements for energy evaluations for new homes please visit Natural Resources Canada’s Homebuilders webpage. For energy evaluations for mixed-use or multi-unit residential buildings, contact a program-qualified energy advisor or service organization in your area.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.

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