Whether you're simply looking to meet the minimum BC Building Code or Step Code 1, or go above and beyond to BC Energy Step Code 2, 3, 4 or even 5, you can use natural gas space and water heating.
"That's great news for homebuyers, who appreciate the affordable, cosy warmth of natural gas heat, and want to save energy and money by using the most efficient heating possible," says Ben Nishi, a regional energy manager at FortisBC.
If you're a builder or developer, here's some excellent news for you—FortisBC has increased several of their popular rebate programs for a limited time.
Even bigger rebates through the New Home Program
FortisBC is offering home performance rebates from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on which Step Code level you're building to. You can also get rebates on your energy advisor evaluation and rebates on high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® appliances, fireplaces, connected thermostats and drain water heat recovery.
As part of FortisBC's Design Offer, you could also qualify for reimbursement of up to $7,000 in additional consulting fees if you complete an integrated design process, mechanical design and/or building envelope design for a new home built to Step Code 3 or higher (or up to $50,000 for multi-family projects).
Make sure your project qualifies
Build a home to BC Energy Step Code 2 or higher using natural gas space and water heating (or electricity space and water heating in FortisBC's electricity service area in the B.C. interior) before December 31, 2021. The homes can't be higher than three storeys, and they must be located in FortisBC's service areas.
The rebates are only for new construction builds on permanent foundations, including detached houses (may include a secondary suite), attached houses (e.g. semi-detached, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, row houses or attached houses with or without a secondary suite) or a laneway home.
For the home performance rebates, contact your FortisBC natural gas energy solutions manager before construction begins. Get all the details about the increased rebates on FortisBC's New Home Program online.
Why is FortisBC offering such significant rebates right now?
The utility is increasing its investment in conservation and energy management programs to $96.7 million by 2022 as part of its ambitious 30BY30 target—reducing their customers' emissions by 30 per cent before 2030. At the same time, the company wants to help builders, developers and homeowners who were affected by COVID-19.
"Many builders and homeowners have faced financial challenges with the economic impact of COVID-19," says Tanya Rumak, a conservation and energy management program manager at FortisBC. "By increasing our rebates, we're hoping the extra cost-savings make it easier for builders to continue building with more energy-efficient systems and appliances."
In the early planning stages of your project, contact your FortisBC natural gas energy solutions manager or electricity energy efficiency representative, so they can walk you through the process and save you as much money as possible.
Find the contact information for your FortisBC energy solutions manager online to get started.