Friday, July 6, 2012

Are You Eligible for Both Provincial and Federal Grants?

As a homeowner, am I eligible for Government Grants to save money on heating costs, and make my home more energy-efficient? YES! Can I be eligible for both provincial and federal incentives? The answer is YES. Here is the latest information with common questions and answers about government grants in BC to upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient. Let's go green and save!

Blog provided by  - House Smart Home Improvements.
For a free consultation with answers to any of the following questions call us at:
604-585-2020


Eligibility

Can I be eligible for both provincial and federal incentives?
Yes.  You can be eligible to receive incentives from both the provincial LiveSmart BC and federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes programs as long as you meet other eligibility criteria for these programs. 

I have already accessed incentives from either the LiveSmart BC or ecoENERGY programs. Am I eligible for incentives through the current LiveSmart BC program?
No. In order to provide as many British Columbians as possible access to limited government funds the current LiveSmart BC incentives are only available to participants who have not previously accessed incentives through either the LiveSmart BC or ecoENERGY programs.

I have already had an initial (pre-retrofit) assessment but have never accessed incentives from either the LiveSmart BC or ecoENERGY programs. Am I eligible for incentives through the current LiveSmart BC program?
Yes, however you must have a new baseline energy efficiency assessment after April 1, 2011.  Only upgrades undertaken after this new baseline assessment will be eligible for incentives. You will not be eligible for another LiveSmart BC assessment subsidy for this new baseline.  The cost of your new baseline will be up to $325 plus taxes and travel in some areas.

Am I eligible to access LiveSmart BC incentives more than once for the same property?
No. Eligible participants can only participate in the new LiveSmart BC program once for each property they own.

Can I access LiveSmart BC incentives for upgrades to a rental property or a property that is not my primary residence?
Yes. As long as you meet other eligibility requirements, you can access incentives for these types of properties.

I participated in the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive program and the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program in a previous home. I now own a new home. Am I eligible for incentives under this program?
Yes. The first step to becoming eligible for incentives in your new home is to have a home energy assessment by a Certified Energy Advisor, like House Smart Home Improvements.

A previous owner of my home participated in the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive program and/or the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program.  Am I eligible for incentives under this program?
Yes. The first step to becoming eligible for incentives in your new home is to have a home energy assessment by a Certified Energy Advisor. To find a Certified Energy Advisor in your area click here.

About the program and how to participate

How do I apply for LiveSmart BC?
Your House Smart Home Improvements Certified Energy Advisor will handle all the paperwork in applying for provincial incentives after the post-retrofit energy assessment.
Is there a provincial maximum for energy efficiency?
No, there is no provincial maximum. You will receive provincial incentives for all eligible upgrades made to your home.
Are the incentives based on how much I spend for upgrades?
No. The amount you receive is based on the individual upgrades completed. A specific incentive amount will be calculated for each qualifying upgrade so the rebate is based on the total qualifying upgrades completed.
Does the new equipment I am installing have to have a higher efficiency than the original equipment to qualify for incentives?
Yes.
Must the new equipment I am installing be more efficient than the original equipment to qualify for incentives?
Yes.
Will I be taxed on the efficiency incentives I receive for my upgrades?
No.
How long will it take me to receive my incentive cheque?
The data used to process incentive payments for the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive program is initially processed by the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program.  This program structure allows significantly reduced administrative costs for the LiveSmart program, however, it also requires the LiveSmart program to wait to process incentives until after the file has been processed by the federal program.
Due to the reintroduction of the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program this summer the LiveSmart program has experienced significant delays in receiving customer data from the federal program.  The reintroduction of the federal program also required significant changes to the LiveSmart software system to calculate and process customer incentive payments.  Unforeseen difficulties with these updates have resulted in substantial delays to some participants’ cheques.  We apologise for any inconvenience these delays have caused. 
This matter is the Program’s top priority.  We are close to resolving the issues and expect to begin mailing cheques soon.  If you have not yet received your incentive by the mid-March please contact the LiveSmart call centre at 1-866-430-8765 for an update on the status.  The LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive Program office will be prioritising customer payments by post-retrofit assessment dates, with the earliest customers being paid first.
Thank you for your continued patience on this matter.
When does the LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive program end?
This program currently has funding until March 31, 2013.
Can I participate in the LiveSmart BC program more than once?
You are only eligible to participate in the program one time for each property you own. Only participants starting the program on or after April 1, 2011 are eligible for the current incentives.

Building type eligibility

Does it matter how old my house is?
Yes it does. New construction is not eligible for the LiveSmart BC program. While any home that has had an occupancy permit for at least 6 months can become eligible, houses built before 1985 will benefit the most as they have the most potential for energy improvements.
Are mobile homes eligible for the incentive program?
Yes. Mobile homes are eligible.
I live in an apartment/condo complex. Am I eligible for incentives?
Multi-unit residential buildings are not eligible for the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program.
I am building a new house. Am I eligible for incentives and assessments under this new program?
No. The Efficiency Incentive Program only targets existing housing. However, BC Hydro and FortisBC have incentive programs for new housing.

The energy assessment

Why do I have to have an assessment to be eligible for incentives? What benefits will the assessment provide?
The home energy assessment:
  • provides independent third-party energy efficiency advice for existing homes;
  • handles the paperwork to ensure eligibility for incentives from the Province, Utility Partners and the federal government if the timing of upgrades is eligible;
  • provides you with an energy efficiency rating label of your home that can increase the home’s resale potential by providing evidence of “invisible” energy improvements in existing homes;
  • provides the home’s estimated energy consumption, energy efficiency recommendations and the estimated reductions in energy use should each recommendation be implemented; and
  • allows you to make informed decisions on improving the efficiency of your home over the short- and long-term.
How long does it take to have an energy assessment completed?
The initial (pre-retrofit) energy assessment will take approximately two hours to complete. The follow-up (post-retrofit) energy assessment will take approximately one hour.
How much does an energy assessment cost? Is this cost reimbursed?
The total cost for an initial (pre-retrofit) energy assessment is up to $325.00 plus taxes and travel in some areas. The LiveSmart BC Incentive Program covers $150.00 of the cost directly to the assessment providers, so the cost to the homeowner is no more than $175.00 plus taxes and travel in some areas. Assessment providers are contractually bound to charge no more than $175 to homeowners for the base service of the initial energy assessment.
The follow-up (post-retrofit) assessment also costs about $150.00. The price of this assessment is set by the assessment providers and may vary. This cost is covered by the homeowner.  It is recommended that homeowners request a quote for the follow-up assessment, including travel, at the time of the initial assessment.
What quality assurance procedures are in place for Certified Energy Advisors?
Natural Resources Canada reviews customer surveys and files and conducts on-site reviews of Certified Energy Advisors.
Will I need to provide personal information? What privacy guidelines are in place?
Your personal information will be needed to process your grant application. Your personal information is protected under the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and under the federal Privacy Act. To coordinate incentives offered by LiveSmart BC and our utility partners, personal information will, if applicable, be shared with your utility provider to determine grant eligibility offerings provided by BC Hydro and FortisBC. Utility Providers are also required to protect your personal information.

Incentive Cheques for the previous LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive programs

I have completed my follow-up assessment under the previous LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive program.  When can I expect to receive my incentive cheque??
If you completed eligible upgrades and had a follow-up assessment under the previous program and have not yet received you cheque you can contact our call centre can investigate the status: 1-866-430-8765.


This information is directly from the British Columbia Live Smart BC Website, courtesy of House Smart Home Improvements. Visit www.HouseSmartHomeImprovements.com today, or call us at 604-585-2020.
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