Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BC Wins National Energy Star Award

Reduce Home Heating Costs

The provincial energy efficiency market transformation strategy for residential furnaces, which is helping British Columbians lower their home energy costs, won the national ENERGY STAR market transformation award in Ottawa last night.

Heating a home generally accounts for half of a British Columbian’s home energy costs. Many existing furnaces are low-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 per cent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). An ENERGY STAR natural gas furnace can perform up to 97 per cent AFUE.

British Columbia became a leader in energy efficiency when it launched the market transformation strategy in 2004. The strategy focused on increasing awareness, acceptance, affordability and accessibility of ENERGY STAR furnaces. To achieve this, the Province:

· Partnered with Terasen Gas and Pacific Northern Gas on information and incentive programs.

· Introduced a provincial sales tax exemption for ENERGY STAR furnaces (which ended on Dec. 31, 2007).

· Implemented a provincial sales tax exemption for ENERGY STAR boilers and oil-fired furnaces, which will be available until March 31, 2011.

· Launched the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program in April 2008, which includes incentives for super-efficient ENERGY STAR furnaces (92 per cent or higher, with variable speed, furnace blower motors).

· Introduced a regulation under the BC Energy Efficiency Act that adopted the same standard as ENERGY STAR (AFUE greater or equal to 90 per cent). This regulation took effect for new construction on Jan. 1, 2008 and will take effect for retrofits Dec. 31, 2009.

· Worked with the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA) and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) to develop trades training to promote appropriate installation and sales techniques for ENERGY STAR furnaces.

As a result of these measures, the market share of ENERGY STAR furnaces in British Columbia has increased from 27 per cent in 2004 to 64 per cent in 2008. Furthermore, with approximately 25,000 new furnaces being purchased each year in the province, the strategy will result in energy savings of 2,475 terajoules per year and greenhouse gas emission reductions of 123,000 tonnes per year by 2020.

This strategy supports the Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy: More Action, Less Energy, released on May 22, 2008. The strategy aims to transform the market to achieve energy-efficiency targets for existing and new buildings in British Columbia, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. British Columbians will benefit from net energy savings of approximately $3.4 billion over and above capital costs by 2020.

Provincial energy efficiency programs help British Columbians lower their energy costs, while creating new, skilled jobs and increasing B.C.’s economic competitiveness. By participating in the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program, British Columbians have, on average, reduced their home energy use by 31 per cent and their greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6 tonnes per year.

LiveSmart BC builds sustainable communities by rewarding smart choices to reduce energy consumption and by promoting investment in green business opportunities to help create new jobs in a low-carbon economy. To learn more, visit


1 comment:

  1. Just received an energy assessment from a great non-profit company called City Green Looks like we might be eligible for over $2000 in LiveSmart and other government grants.


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