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Green Energy Savings In British Columbia

Canada has long considered itself a global leader in green energy. Across territories, Canadians care about the environment and the impact they have on it, and so does the government.

In British Columbia, federal and private programs alike offer rebates, savings, and incentives to homeowners who are willing to make energy-conscious changes to their home.

Here are some of the premier opportunities for financial savings throughout the region.

Oil To Heat Pump Incentive

Funded by the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources’ Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, this incentive offers rebates of up to $1700 for homeowners who make the switch from an oil heating to an air source heat pump.

The air source heat pump can get you major savings on your home heating bill. A typical upgrade can save you 40 to 75% off your heating bills annually. With these green energy savings, the pump can pay for itself quickly from your additional savings.

Be careful to select the proper pump, as not all of them are eligible for incentives. Additionally, you’ll need to account for an increase in your electricity bill, as the pump will draw its power from there. However, the savings you get on your total energy bills will still be worthwhile.

Acceptance through the program qualifies your home for additional incentives from local governments, listed here on their website. These incentives range anywhere from $150 – 6000 in additional funds if you meet their own specific criteria.

The program also offers access to additional rebates for customers who make the switch to an air source heat pump through the program. These additional rebates are exclusive to customers only and are advertised as

BC Hydro

The BCHydro Powersmart page has a wide variety of valuable information for homeowners, businesses, vehicle owners, and local governments. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on homeowners, but the website deserves recognition for its thorough information.

The current rebates page shows you what incentives are being offered right now to help push homeowners toward switching to green energy. The page has a search tool to help you find appliances which could keep you eligible for future green energy savings (the current appliance rebate won’t return until the spring).

The meat of the savings comes in for the home renovation rebates. Here, you can see financing options for green energy investments in your house. New insulation can net you up to $1,200; draft proofing nets up to $500; ventilation fans, ductless heat pumps, and certain fireplaces all qualify for additional green energy savings. There’s even an incentive offered for following through on three or more of the previous options.

Special offers are often featured on the site, which in the past have included green energy savings for homeowners living in Vancouver, New Westminster, and Victoria city limits. The Winter Warm-Up offer is currently in place to give $250 to customers who use electric heat.

These green energy savings are available to homes within the BC Hydro and/or the FortisBC service territory.

FortisBC

The electric power and gas company has a solid selection of green energy savings and savings opportunities for customers across their coverage area.

Using their search function, you can narrow down exactly which incentives you may qualify for. Here are some of the categories that may have rebate deals:

  • Clothes dryer/washer
  • Draftproofing
  • Energy assessment
  • Fireplace
  • Free upgrades
  • Furnace
  • Heat pump
  • Heat recovery ventilator (1)
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • New home construction

The amount of green energy savings available to you depend on your area, but chances are if you’re a FortisBC customer, you’ll have options.
The incentives range from free benefits to near $2000 in savings available.

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Retrofit Grant

The Vancouver Heritage Foundation, based on protecting and conserving historical buildings around Vancouver, provides a way for homeowners in Vancouver with historic buildings to modernize their homes.

The grant alone is for a maximum of $3,000 to aid in retrofitting a historic building with energy saving measures. However, the grant is eligible to be combined with the Oil To Heat Pump Incentive to create a maximum of $6,000 per home, including other retrofits.

The money can be used to implement new energy saving measures that will improve comfort, reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and running costs. If a retrofit of this kind can be performed without damaging or removing significant character elements of the historic home, this grant will help.

The be eligible for the grant, the house in question must be built before 1940 or on the Vancouver Register, and have gas or oil heating.

Start Your Savings Today

Contact Yellowblue Canada today to see all the ways we can help you cut costs around your home and make a positive impact on the world around you.

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Canada’s Top Trends In Green Building

As rising temperatures hit the globe for the 2nd-warmest year on record, the public began taking notice of climate change’s effects more than ever. With a larger public eye on the issue, it doesn’t seem like the green building industry is taking a breather anytime soon.

As the industry moves forward, here are the top production trends other green construction firms and organization are concerning themselves with as they adapt to the market’s needs.

Zero Carbon Building Standard

Put forward in May by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), this document sets the guidelines for how a building’s health standards should be measured.

The program highlights include increasing focus on energy efficiency, what kinds of energy a building uses, and how well a building generates renewable energy. Their definition of a building which meets the standard is as follows:

“A zero carbon building is defined as one that is highly energy-efficient and produces onsite, or procures, carbon-free renewable energy in an amount sufficient to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with operations.”

The standard is meant to be used by those constructing commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings. A pilot program involving 16 projects throughout Canada is underway, estimated to take two years to complete. The projects vary in building size and purpose, as well as involving old and new facilities.

LEED and WELL continue making strides

These certifications have moved past being just influential; they’re now the effective standard.

According to the most recent World Green Building Trends report, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards are being implemented on a massive global scale with megacities in developing countries.

The International WELL Building Institute’s WELL certifications, which measure how healthy a building is for the employees that work in it, have only risen in popularity and ubiquity, suggesting the industry’s future will not merely be focused on protecting the environment, but all of those who inhabit it.

According to the CaGBC’s website, their organization has certified over 2,800 LEED buildings and registered over 5,000, giving Canada’s biggest green building organization the second highest number of LEED projects anywhere in the world.

KIKO Water Systems

Winner of the CaGBC’s Green Building Product of the Year Award, KIKO impressed the industry with their Water Cartridge Systems. The company used nanotechnology instead of chemicals to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in common products like boilers, chillers, and heat pumps. The company boasts of their ability to reduce HVAC energy consumption by 10 – 30 percent. 

KIKO’s water systems have improved performance in major buildings across Vancouver, like the Four Seasons and Westin Grand hotels, and offices within the Harbour Centre.

Retrofits and institutional construction

As detailed in the WGBT report, these two sectors are gaining traction across the world, with particularly strong expectations coming from Canada.

Roughly 46 percent of green construction firms in Canada, Mexico, and the US are expecting to see retrofit projects in the next three years, higher than the global average of 36 percent. Additionally, Canada is among a select few countries — including the US, Mexico, and some in the Middle East/North Africa — with over 40 percent of firms expecting to take on new institutional green building projects in upcoming years.  

“Smart” technology

Part of the LEED rating system incorporates to what degree a building or project self-manages and regulates. As the global industry standard becomes more common, so too do “smart” buildings, which allow incredibly controllable processes to HVAC, interior lighting, and energy systems.

This summer, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) declared their plan to integrate smart technology in over 100 buildings over the next three years. Additionally, a MarketsandMarkets report detailed their expectations for the smart building market to grow from “an estimated USD 7.42 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.74 Billion by 2022.”

Smart technology isn’t slowing down, no matter what market you operate in.

Stay ahead of the curve

The Canadian green building industry and customer base are getting more educated, cautious and savvy. Implementing the right kinds of products in your commercial, industrial, or residential project is more crucial than ever.

With so many companies competing in the green building industry, it’s important to find the right people and products to stay ahead of the pack as the trends change. At Yellowblue Canada, we focus on getting out products that create a holistic healthy environment for homes and their residents. Technologies like the Better Air Priobiotic Air Purification System — which replenishes indoor air spaces — are the kinds of health-conscious machines that can put a building on the cutting edge of the industry.

Contact us to learn more about our whole-home solutions and make your next project your most advanced yet.

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Energy Costs & Canadian Households

Energy is the basis of our modern lives. It fuels our economy, generating the economic production that underpins the high living standards Canadian households have achieved (McKitrick and Aliakbari, 2014; Epstein, 2014). Energy consumption also allows us to be connected across Canada’s vast land mass and heat our homes during the cold Canadian winters. These extensive energy needs require a level of affordability if we are to experience the full benefits of our modern lifestyles.

Energy costs have been rising steadily since the end of the twentieth century. Canadian energy prices included in the consumer price index (CPI) more than doubled over the two decades between 1994 and 2013 (Statistics Canada, 2015b). This increase exceeds growth in disposable income and the rate at which residential energy intensity is declining (Natural Resources Canada, 2015a; Statistics Canada, 2015d). Certain governments within Canada have also been pursuing policies—Ontario’s Green Energy Act is an example—that have been contributing to increases in prices for consumers (McKitrick and Adams, 2014). [1] Price increases force households to spend more on the energy they require, perhaps making them energy poor—a situation where a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy (Boardman, 2010; Lesser, 2015; Phimister, Vera-Toscano, and Roberts, 2015).

This publication (by Fraser Institute) seeks to determine how the energy expenditures of Canadian households have changed in recent years, and how they compare with total spending. We also calculate how many Canadian households are experiencing relatively high energy costs—how many are “energy poor”—and how energy poverty differs across income groups. The estimates in this paper are intended to be a starting point for broader research focusing on the impact of energy costs upon Canadians and policies that might increase those costs. It is first necessary, however, to examine how important energy is as a proportion of spending by Canadian households.