B.C. Government Sparking Energy Efficient Innovation

Published on November 08, 2018

B.C. Government Sparking Energy Efficient Innovation


As a part of the $1.2 million Better Buildings BC program, the B.C. government is going to provide financial support to designers, builders, and developers that create the most cost-effective and energy efficient buildings.

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, announced this initiative last Friday, saying that energy efficient buildings play an important role in Canada’s commitment to a strong, sustainable, and innovative economy.

This program is intended to assist in the construction of highly efficient buildings that are able to produce as much energy as they consume. These buildings are called net-zero energy buildings.

The application process for this program is open until the end of November, and accepted proposals could be receiving up to $390 000 in funding towards helping counteract the cost of building to such a high level of efficiency.

In 2015, commercial and residential buildings accounted for 10 percent of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Alex Boston, executive director of Renewable Cities, believes that this program may be beneficial in addressing the affordability and climate change issues in B.C. - the two issues he believes are the most pressing for the province.

Through an innovative method that combines a reduction in both social isolation and greenhouse gas emissions, Boston said that increasing the allowable number of secondary suites in a home might advance B.C.’s affordability by creating more housing, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a better use of the already available space.

Home Efficiency Improvements

Improving home energy efficiency can be done in a number of ways. However, in order to have a clear picture of exactly what the best option to renovate or modify is, a homeowner should have a Home Energy Assessment conducted by a Registered Energy Advisor.

The assessment provides the Registered Energy Advisor all the information they need about the home in order to provide the homeowner with a list of possible energy saving solutions - ranked in order of what would be the most cost-effective option to employ. Quite often, the most cost-effective solution is something as simple as improving the level of insulation in the attic, or sealing leaky areas with caulk.

As unwanted air leaks can be detrimental to a building’s efficiency, a Registered Energy Advisor can also conduct an Air Tightness Test, which locates and identifies all areas where air is escaping - making it easy for a company such as Great Northern Insulation to patch them up.

For homeowners in Ontario, Barrier Sciences Group is proud to provide these services, and our Registered Energy Advisors are happy to explain and go over any questions you may have regarding your homes efficiency. They are also able to help you make sense of and qualify for one of the many home renovation rebates that are currently available from Union Gas - helping you to see a return on your energy efficiency investment even sooner.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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