sponsored | Homes Photo Credit: BC Hyrdro

5 Ways to Love Your Home This Summer

Make your home as efficient as you are. And get rewarded for it year round

The Home Energy Rebate Offer, is an opportunity for British Columbians to renovate or upgrade their energy-inefficient homes and be rewarded by BC Hydro and FortisBC for doing so. With a warm summer just around the corner (not to mention a damp, cold winter on its heels), now is the time to strategize on how to keep your home cool and comfortable when the mercury rises. Here are five ways to make this your home’s best summer ever.

1. Your home is a system that needs more than AC
A fan or air conditioner is a Band-Aid solution that will lead to higher electricity use, which defeats the purpose of saving money and the environment. By thinking of your home as an interconnected system comprised of windows, lighting and insulation, you will begin solving the energy efficient deficiencies in manageable parts.

2. Invest in a home energy audit
You wouldn’t fix your car yourself, so seek professional help with energy optimization for your home as well. It’s required for some of the rebates that await (more on that below). A home energy audit (or home energy evaluation) is conducted by a certified energy advisor who will draw up your action plan and identify energy-efficient upgrades best suited for your home and budget. Find an advisor near you at bchydro.com/homerebates. A personalized report should score your home’s efficiency rating, which you can use to compare with similar homes in your area and against your post-upgrades rating.

3. Get help paying for it
BC Hydro has teamed up with Vancity to offer financing solutions to homeowners who complete home energy efficiency renovations. The Vancity Home Energy™ Loan* offers a prime +1% rate and allows homeowners to borrow as little as $3,500 or maximum of $50,000, and then pay it back through flexible payments options. For a limited time only, Vancity is also offering eligible customers an additional $200 rebate on top of the BC Hydro home renovation rebate.

4. Get rewarded
BC Hydro and FortisBC offer a variety of rebates to help make improving your home’s energy efficiency more affordable through the Home Energy Rebate Offer program. The offers are substantial, including up to $1,200 for upgrading your home’s insulation, $800 for home-heating efficiency upgrades and up to $500 for reducing drafts and air leaks. See the entire benefits package at bchydro.com/homerebates. The best part? Complete three or more eligible upgrades and receive an additional $750. And all these improvements will translate into long-term savings on your electricity bills.

5. Don’t procrastinate
Applications for the program must be received by April 30, 2016. Home renovations take time and planning, and finding the right home energy advisor takes time, as does setting up preferred financing. The sooner you make your home—and one of your biggest investments—more efficient, the more time you’ll have to bask in the cool relief of summer and coziness of winter without thinking about the cost of a comfortable home.

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