Okay, let's get this out of the way - this article will NOT make any jokes about the price of houses in Vancouver!
What this article DOES cover are the government rebates that available to B.C. homeowners - rebates that can take the sting out of renovation costs.
There are grants for people with disabilities, tax exemptions for first time home owners, and there are also programs that are designed to improve your home to make it greener and more efficient.
Let's take a look!
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
If you’ve spent at least $2,000 in the last year making modifications to your home to accommodate a disability, you can ask for that amount to be reduced in your property taxes.
If you have need to make modifications to your home, this program will provide up to $20,000 in financial assistance; either as a grant or as loan.
If you are 55 or older, and have a disability that impairs your ability to your ability to function on a day to day basis, this program provides you a tax deferment in the form of a low interest loan.
Seniors 65 and over can receive up to $1,000 in tax credits for making renovations to their home.
FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS
You could be eligible for a full or partial exemption from the property transfer tax, the first time you purchase a new home.
- This program assists first time homeowners by providing a 25 year loan that is interest and payment free for the first five years.
- It also provides home owners with a down payment loan program that is worth up to 5% of the purchase price.
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
If you are supporting a child under 18, a child attending a college or university, or a child with a disability, you may be eligible for a low interest loan that defers paying part of your property taxes.
RURAL PROPERTY TAX
If you live in Rural British Columbia and pay your property tax directly to the province and not a municipality, you are eligible for a reduction in property tax. To do so you must meet one the following conditions:
You can receive $570 in reduction for a primary residence that are valued up to 1.6 million.
You can receive $845 in reduction for a primary residence that are valued up to 1.6 million.
You can receive an $845 grant for a primary residence valued up to $1.6 million
CITY & MUNICIPALITY GRANTS
- If you live in one of the participating towns or municipalities, you could get free high efficiency fixtures for your house. If you community is not a part of the program, you can also apply to make it apart of the program!
- The following communities are where this program is available: Colwood, Esquimalt, Kelowna, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos, Okanogan Falls, Princeton, Pentiction, Saanich, Summerland, and Victoria.
You can receive up to $1700 in incentives if you upgrade to a heat pump from your traditional oil pump in your home.
CITY OF VANCOUVER GRANTS
You can receive rebates for making environmentally friendly improvements to your home. These rebates include:
- Insulation (up to $1200)
- Draft proofing (up to $500)
- Air Source Heat Pump (up to $800)
- Ventilation Fans ($50)
- Natural Gas Hot Water heaters (Up to $1,000)
- Enerchoice fireplace ($300)
- Energy coaching evaluation ($150)
- If you install three or more of the above, you could receive an additional $1,250.
If you are a Vancouver resident who would like a compost bin, this program will give you a bin at $25.00.
DISTRICT OF SAANICH
If you are a Saanich resident and looking to make energy upgrades to your home you are eligible to receive a rebate for the following improvements:
- Attic, Wall, and Basement insulation upgrades ($1,200)
- Draft proofing ($500)
- Ductless Air Source Heat Pump ($800)
- High Efficiency natural gas hot water heater ($1,000)
- Energy Star Ventilation Fan ($50)
- Enerchoice Fireplace ($300)
- Energy Coaching Evaluation Rebate ($150)
- $750 rebate if you install three or more of the above upgrades.
Deadline to apply is July 31st, 2017!
- This is a service that BC Hydro offers to Saanich residents which provides a free home energy audit, personalized energy efficiency advice and, energy saving products installed. Including: efficient lightbulbs, high efficiency showerheads and weather-stripping.
- Eligibility for this program is for low income people.
- Clothes Dryer
- Clothes Washer
BC Hydro also offers rebates when you make renovations to improve your home’s energy efficiency. The following renovations can give you rebates:
- Insulation ($1,200)
- Ductless Heat Pump ($800)
- Ventilation Fan ($50)
- Draft proofing ($500)
- If you make 3 or more renovations, you can receive an additional $750 in rebates!
If you live in select locations, you can receive a $500 rebate and personalized energy coaching services to improve your household. The locations included are:
- New Westminster
- District of Saanich
- Campbell River
- District of North Saanich
- Town of Sidney
If you are not sure what upgrades to make to your home, BC Hydro has certified energy advisors that you can have to inspect your home. Your adviser will provide a full report filled with recommendations. BC Hydro customers will be rebated the full, making this program free.
- Natural Gas Fireplaces ($300)
- Natural Gas Water Heater ($1000)
- Energy Star natural gas heater central heating system ($1000)
If you are making home renovations, Fortis Inc. will provide rebates for the following installations to your home:
- Insulation (Up to $1200)
- Space Heating (Up to $800)
- Bathroom Fan ($50)
- Water heating ($1000)
- Switching from oil to natural gas for your central heating system ($1000)
- A central air source heat pump ($1200)
- A high efficiency electric water pump ($1000)
If you are already a Fortis Inc. customer, if you want to upgrade your heat pump you can apply for a loan to purchase a new heat pump.
This loan works out to 1.9% interest for up to $6500 for ten years.
Fortis Inc. also offers Energy Savings Kits for Low Income Homes. This kit includes a water-efficient showerhead, weather-stripping, window film, outlet and plate sealers, furnace filter coupon, LED night light, and a thermometer for your refrigerator or freezer.
If you are building a new home that meets Energy Star standards, you could receive a rebate of up to $2,000.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that to save money. All of these programs are great ways to save money for your home. Enjoy the savings!