News Release

Energy savings pays its way: Power Smart Home Loan pilot debuts in Colwood

COLWOOD – Upfront payments can be a barrier to making energy efficiency upgrades to your home. That’s why BC Hydro is launching an innovative pilot program in the City of Colwood that offers low-cost financing for home energy improvements with no upfront payment.

The new Power Smart Home Loan program offers Colwood residents who live in electrically-heated homes loans for up to $10,000 for energy efficiency upgrades. Over time, the savings from the upgrades will offset the homeowner’s investment cost.
 
The pilot allows BC Hydro to test a new approach to encourage customers to make energy efficiency upgrades. Over the next two years, the provincial government will work with BC Hydro to evaluate the program with the intent of offering energy efficiency financing to customers across the province.  
 
Quotes:
 
Hon. Rich Coleman, Ministry of Energy and Mines:

“Many British Columbians want to reduce how much electricity they consume, but they can be discouraged by the initial cost of making energy efficiency upgrades. The Power Smart Home Loan program allows homeowners to pay for upgrades over time, making greener living more affordable for families.”
 
Lisa Coltart, Executive Director of Power Smart and Customer Care, BC Hydro:
“We’re building on our conservation culture and making it easier than ever to take action to reduce energy consumption and save money. This innovative pilot program will allow Colwood residents to invest in the energy efficiency of their homes and save energy and money in the long run.”
 
Carol Hamilton, Mayor of the City of Colwood:
“I’m thrilled Colwood has the opportunity to participate in this program first. The program complements our ongoing green initiatives, like Solar Colwood, by helping to lower energy costs for Colwood residents, creating local jobs and driving economic growth in our community.”

Facts:

  • The program will allow participants to access to up to $10,000 in financing at an interest rate as low as four per cent. Repayment periods are designed to be up to a maximum of 10 years. The pilot runs until Nov. 1, 2014.
  • Eligible improvements include insulation, weatherization, air source heat pumps and solar hot water heaters.
  • Owners of electrically-heated single family homes, townhouses or mobile homes on a permanent foundation located in the City of Colwood may apply.
  • In addition to submitting a loan application to BC Hydro, customers wishing to participate in the pilot are required to complete a home energy assessment to help the homeowner identify the most-effective upgrades and the estimated payback times. The first 200 eligible customers to complete their assessment before January will receive a free energy assessment.
  • BC Hydro submitted the program design to the BC Utilities Commission for review and received approval in late October.

To find more about the Power Smart Home Loan pilot or to apply online, visit www.bchydro.com/homeloan.
 
About BC Hydro
 
BC Hydro has been providing clean, reliable power to British Columbians for more than 50 years while maintaining among the lowest rates in North America. BC Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation that serves 1.9 million customers and invests in the electrical system and in energy conservation to deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity for today’s customers and for generations to come.


-30-


For more information, please contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604.928.6468
w. bchydro.com/media