Stories & Features

Could you be eligible for a free kit of energy-saving products?

Photo of an opened energy-saving kit
A free kit of energy-saving products could be coming your way if you meet the income qualifications. Whether you’re a retiree, renter or a student, you can easily install these products to save energy, water and money on your bills.

Take a look at the income qualifications to see if your household qualifies for free kit

Posted by Kevin Wang

As a Community Outreach Representative for BC Hydro, I'm trained to provide energy conservation tips to our customers at events across the province. So when my mom was complaining that her energy bill was high even though I worked at BC Hydro, I knew something had to be done.

Energy-saving advice was about all I could offer her – being a BC Hydro employee doesn't come with any perks to cut her bill or tricks to reduce how much electricity she was using. But since she's semi-retired, I knew she would fit the income qualification to receive a free Energy Saving Kit.

Energy Saving Kits are available to any BC Hydro account holder that meets the income qualifications based on the number of people that live in their household and their household's total annual income. The kit is free of charge and is filled with energy-saving products that can be installed easily in your home.

More people than you think could be eligible for a kit. As a Community Outreach Representative, I travel across the province to help distribute kits to eligible customers at events, and I've met all kinds of customers who are eligible for the kits, from families of four with a stay-at-home parent, to retirees like my mom.

My mom's retirement income meant that she met the qualifications for her household size, so I helped her apply for her kit. And by helped her, I mean I did the whole application. She is my mom, after all. You can fill out your application online, or, if you're the account holder and prefer to call, you can apply for your free kit over the phone.

Eligibility and how to apply for a kit

If you meet the qualifications, you can actually receive one kit per household every five years.

Number of people in your household Total household income
1 person $32,900
2 persons $41,000
3 persons $50,400
4 persons $61,400
5 persons $69,400
6 persons $78,300
7 persons $87,200

My mom's kit arrived about a month after we submitted her application. Like any good son, I rushed right over to actually help her install everything – but take it from me, they're all easy to install on your own. It felt a little like Christmas morning, unpacking all the new items and putting them together.

All my training from speaking to hundreds of other customers about how to save energy around the home kicked in, and my poor mother was trapped with me explaining the amount of money she would be saving with each piece of item that she installed.

What you'll find inside the kits

Wondering what you'll get inside? Here's what each kit contains. Each kit will also include an installation manual, but now I can speak from firsthand experience that these products are all super easy to install in your home.

The kit will help you save on your electricity costs through more efficient lighting, draftproofing, and water savings. Installing all the products can save up to $100 in electricity costs per year.

  • Four ENERGY STAR® LED bulbs
    • LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • An LED nightlight
    • The LED nightlight automatically turns on when it detects the room is dark.
  • Foam and V-seal weatherstripping
    • Foam tape and V-seal strips are used to insulate the edges of doors, which prevents cold air from seeping into your home and heat escaping.
  • Window insulator film
    • Adding this plastic film on your windows helps prevent heat loss through windows - it's particularly helpful if you have older windows.
  • Outlet and switch sealers
    • These foam pads will help eliminate cold air from entering through your outlets and light switches.
  • A high-efficiency showerhead
    • A high-efficiency showerhead can use up to 50% less water than a regular showerhead, saving hot water costs.
  • A water-saving tap aerator
    • Aerators can use up to 50% less water and can be installed in both the kitchen and bathroom.

Ready to get started installing your products? You can find advice on some of these do-it-yourself projects on our website.

Get your own kit or share the info with others

Now that my mom is sorted out, it's time to get back on the road to share advice and ideas with other customers.

If you're not eligible but know someone who might be, pass along the application info and encourage them to apply.

If you meet the income qualifications, I encourage you to fill out your application online today and get those products installed before the winter weather gets even colder. While I can't help you fill it out (that's a special offer for my mom only), I promise it's easy to do.

Kevin Wang is a representative with BC Hydro's community team and travels around B.C. sharing energy advice and information with British Columbians.