Stuck at home renovators making significant investments in energy saving upgrades
SURREY, BC, April 22, 2021 /CNW/ – Interest from people making home improvements is causing a record spike in participation in FortisBC’s energy efficiency programs. In January and February of this year, FortisBC processed almost twice as many Home Renovation Rebate applications than the same months last year and expects this trend to continue while people continue to spend more time at home.
“We’re really encouraged by this increase in participation in all of our energy savings programs,” said Danielle Wensink, director, conservation and energy management. “For us, this demonstrates that our customers are taking action to reduce their energy costs, improve home comfort and contribute to the global need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
It’s believed that much of the increase can be attributed to the greater number of people doing renovations while they’re at home as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. A poll of FortisBC customers showed that at least a quarter of people surveyed planned to use the extra time to complete home renovations. In fact, the most common rebates so far in 2021 have been for high-efficiency equipment like natural gas furnaces and water heaters. FortisBC has also seen a spike in ENERCHOICE fireplace rebates.
By reducing the cost of making more energy-efficient choices as part of a renovation, rebates continue be an effective way of helping people reduce energy use, as well as make homes and businesses more comfortable and cost-effective over the long term. For people planning to take advantage of rebates as part of their renovation project, here’s some tips to help make sure the rebate is processed as quickly as possible:
- Apply online at fortisbc.com/rebate for faster processing and easier tracking which allows customers to track the status of their application anytime by logging into their FortisBC online account.
- Have a qualified contractor complete the upgrades. For many rebates, this is a requirement. FortisBC maintains a list of independent natural gas and electrical contractors, found at fortisbc.com/findacontractor, that have appropriate licenses and are familiar with FortisBC programs.
- Check that the make and model of the selected appliance, equipment or upgrade is eligible for a rebate. You can search for your make and model number on fortisbc.com/savemoney.
- Submit your application within the required timeline after completing the work. Remember to read over terms and conditions of the rebate for full details.
- Include all the necessary invoices and information—missing the make and model number is the top reason rebates are delayed.
- Ensure your mailing address is the correct one to send the rebate cheque.
Offering a comprehensive range of rebates on energy-efficient upgrades and equipment is just one of the ways FortisBC is making progress towards its 30BY30 target of reducing emissions from its customers by 30 per cent by 2030. In 2019, FortisBC received approval to almost triple its spending on conservation and efficiency programs by 2022. Last year alone, our rebate programs helped reduce natural gas use by more than one million gigajoules, the energy equivalent of operating about 21,250 passenger vehicles for a year, and electricity use by more than 26 million kilowatt-hours, the equivalent annual electricity use of about 2,400 homes.
To learn more about the energy conservation resources available for home renovations, visit fortisbc.com/savemoney.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,400 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.2 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information visit www.fortisinc.com.
- FortisBC received and processed 90 per cent more rebate applications in January and February of this year than the same months last year.
- 53 per cent of rebate participation is from cities in the Lower Mainland, including the Fraser Valley
- The cities with the highest participation are Surrey, Kelowna, Vancouver, Kamloops and Langley
- High-efficiency natural gas furnaces are the most popular rebate and makes up 35 per cent of the rebate volume.
- The top reason for a rebate to be delayed is unclear or missing make and model information.
- The top reason a rebate is declined is the make and model is not eligible.