Whether you’re looking to do home renovations, construct, or buy a new home, rebates could become your best friend. Before you start a project, be sure to understand what home rebates you might be eligible for and how you can apply for them. 

During your home improvements, it’s imperative to know how you can supplement your budget and create the home you truly want without taking shortcuts and compromising. Here are some home rebates that can help give you direction in your decision-making process.

BC Hydro and FortisBC

When it comes to home rebates that promote energy conservation, BC Hydro and Fortis BC have you covered. To be eligible for home rebates, there are certain requirements your home must meet — requirements may vary depending on the rebate you are applying for.

First of all, renovation and upgrades made to the home must be performed by a properly licensed B.C. contractor for the relevant work — an electrician for electrical, a plumber for plumbing, etc. The home must have a current residential account with BC Hydro or FortisBC, be a residential dwelling, and be built on a permanent foundation with months of utility billing history.

By following these guidelines for BC Hydro, you can be eligible for rebates pertaining to your primary space heating, water heating, insulation and windows, as well as space heating in a secondary space in your home. Head to their website for a full chart of available rebates from BC Hydro. 

Similarly to BC Hydro, FortisBC offers home rebates when you upgrade or install ENERGY STAR® approved appliances such as a natural gas furnace, water heater or fireplace, as well as an energy efficient washer and dryer, refrigerator, windows, doors, and more. 

With the FortisBC Connect to Gas program, you can receive a rebate of up to $2,700 for switching from oil, wood, or propane to natural gas space and water heating systems. You can save $700 on a natural gas wall furnace or up to $2,100 with an additional natural gas water heater. 

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

If you plan on purchasing a newly constructed, majorly renovated, or a brand-new home, then you may be eligible for a GST/HST New Housing Rebate. Other ways to be eligible are by purchasing shares in a co-operative housing complex, for the purpose of primary residence, and constructing or renovating your own home.

With this rebate, you can receive some of the GST or the federal part of the HST back if you meet the requirements. The provincial portion of the HST can sometimes be a rebate on its own, whether the federal is available or not. 

CMHC Green Home Refund

Whether you’re buying a new home or condo, or renovating an existing home, you may be eligible for a refund on your mortgage loan insurance from CMHC. Keep in mind that the Green Home application must be submitted within 2 years of the closing date of your mortgage.

Homes that are built or upgraded to meet certain building standards can receive up to a 25% refund on the insurance. If a home is following the Built Green™, ENERGY STAR®, and LEED Canada for Homes standards, owners will receive 15% off the premium. The R-2000 standard will refund homeowners 25% of the premium. 

In condos, the entire building is evaluated. Homeowners will automatically qualify for a 15% refund if the building meets the LEED Canada New Constructions standard, 15% if the building is designed to be 20% more energy efficient than compliance, and finally, 25% if the building is 40% more energy efficient than compliance. 

When it comes to renovations, you can be eligible if you purchased a home and made energy efficient upgrades. Your first step is to get your home assessed by a Natural Resources Canada qualified energy advisor before you undergo renovations. This provides a proper comparison to the impact of your home renovations on the energy efficiency of your home. 

Consult your REALTOR®

There are so many different rebates, discounts and more out there for a wide range of different reasons. REALTORS® work in the industry every day and stay up-to-date on the various rebate options out there for homebuyers. Do your research and discuss with your REALTOR® of your plans for the home — there may be a rebate out there that you qualify for. 

#Buying a Home #Industry News


November 21st, 2018 • 5 min read
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