Energy efficient windows are of great importance. You can save money on heating and cooling while reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
The average home loses anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of its heating and cooling energy through windows. We spend far more on heating and air conditioning than we should.
Summer is the ideal time to upgrade your windows. The government is offering rebates to encourage homeowners to improve their energy conservation.
If you’re thinking about replacing old windows with new, more efficient ones, the government rebates for window replacement will most definitely be of help.
But you will need to meet all the eligibility criteria. Follow the correct steps to get the most benefit from the incentive.
They may require that you have an energy assessment of your home completed before and after your upgrades. There may also be other upgrades you need to install before you qualify for the incentive.
Tips for Maximizing Your Window Rebates
Make Sure Property is Eligible
You will need to make sure your property is eligible for the upgrade. You may or may not be eligible if you are planning to upgrade your windows in a vacation home.
Assessment Records & Files
Keep your assessment records and files up to date and all together. Some programs require that you send in a copy of your pre-upgrade assessment. This will outline recommended upgrades, a checklist of work completed, and a copy of the post-upgrade assessment. You may need this assessment before you will qualify for a rebate.
Retain all original receipts and product information. Some incentives will require that you provide the original receipt and product model number of your windows.
Keep your retailer invoice that includes the installation address, the number of windows installed, the type and brand of windows bought, the name of the manufacturer, and date of installation.
Make sure your new windows meet the minimum requirements under the individual program. Most programs will provide a list of eligible windows for you to choose from.
BC Window Rebates
Windows with a lower U-value have a higher resistance to heat and a higher insulation. The insulation will combat escaping heat and noise. You will enjoy a more comfortable, quiet home environment. Double-glazed windows prevents UV damage to your upholstery and artwork.
You can receive a $750 rebate when you make three or more eligible energy-efficient upgrades. ENERGY STAR® windows and doors are considered an eligible upgrade! You will need to replace a minimum of 65% of your windows and/or doors and make two more upgrades to qualify. Other requirements you need to meet before you apply:
- You must be a current FortisBC or BC Hydro residential customer in a participating municipality.
- Electricity or natural gas must be the primary heating fuel for the home.
- You must have a minimum 12 months’ utility billing history.
- You must live in an eligible home.
- You must complete both a pre- and a post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation with a qualified energy advisor.
You have up to 36 months after completing your pre-upgrade evaluation to complete your eligible upgrades and apply for the $750 bonus.
Make Old Windows Work
It would be nice if we could all afford to replace all of our old windows with new, energy-efficient windows, but that’s not always an option.
If you aren't able to upgrade to new windows, follow these tips to save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and stay warmer in the winter:
Use insulator film in the winter. Found in any hardware store, you can install this clear, thin plastic film in under an hour.
Purchase and install high-efficiency, low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows. They are less effective than brand new windows but cost a lot less. You can buy permanent, seasonal, or temporary versions.
Repair or replace window caulking and weather stripping. Window frames are one of the biggest sources of heat loss in a home.
If you’re considering weather stripping and caulking, check with your local utility company, the Provincial or Municipal websites. Many programs across Canada offer free weather stripping and/or caulking as part of their energy audit programs.
Have an expert conduct an energy assessment of your home. You will see exactly where you’re losing heat. Many utility companies offer a rebate on the cost of an assessment.
Blinds or Curtains
Always use blinds and/or curtains. They reduce drafts and heat loss. Thermal curtains will do the most to reduce the heat loss.
Upgrade the Frame
You can choose a frame with a Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) label. You can install them yourself. They require no tools because they use a compression system to pop in and out. The inserts have weather stripping around them that will prevent drafts and reduce noise.
Choosing the right windows can reduce condensation and outside noise while protecting your interior from sun damage.
Check out the rebates in your area and get started on a greener, more energy-efficient path!