Communicate During Tax Season
Including an informational insert in citizens tax envelopes is a highly effective strategy for local governments to inform community members about incentive opportunities, and other energy efficiency measures. The City of Burnaby (download sample) used this approach to great success, as did the Town of Smithers in conjunction with the non-profit One Sky.
Local governments can also use communications during rezoning and building permit applications to promote energy efficiency and connect citizens with 3rd party incentives. Be mindful that during permit applications, building designs are often relatively solidified, and incorporating efficient features can be more difficult. Local governments should prioritize strategies that can encourage energy efficiency earlier in the design and construction process.
Utilize Local NGOs
The District of Saanich contracted the non-profit organization City Green Solutions to act as the community's Energy Manager and offers free 'GreenStart' consultations to introduce home, retail and store owners to the grants and programs relevant to their building type. Green builders also receive one hour of free energy consulting.
Incentive Programs & Educational Resources
Local governments can encourage citizens to access the following resources:
LiveSmart BC is a Provincial program that educates British Columbians about opportunities to save money and reduce their GHG footprints. LiveSmart provides incentives for home energy retrofits and more fuel efficient transport decisions. British Columbians applying for incentives through LiveSmart will automatically qualify for Federal ecoEnergy incentives for home retrofits, and are provided detailed information on applying for Federal ecoAUTO incentives.
Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency offers the ecoENERGY retrofit incentives to small and medium sized businesses for energy efficiency improvements to buildings and industrial processes.
The enterprising non-profit Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in Vancouver offers educational resources for British Columbians undertaking green building projects, catering to a diversity of knowledge levels. Additionally, Lighthouse offers consulting services for projects, at charge.
The enterprising non-profit City Green Solutions in Victoria offers educational resources and workshops promoting energy efficient building and retrofits. City Green also conducts energy assessments of homes and businesses.
For an links to Funding directories that can help communities reduce their impact on the climate, see the funding page.
New incentive programs and educational resources are frequently launched, while others expire. If your organization is offering such programming, or you recongize updates required to our database, please contact us.
Other Funding Directories
The following sites list funding opportunities, incentives, and tools, available to encourage lower carbon buildings in BC’s communities:
Natural Resources Canada – Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs in Canada
City Green Solutions Energy Efficiency Incentives - A list of incentive of energy efficient renovation and construction grants, rebates, subsidies, tax rebates, and other incentives available in BC, including those for low-income housing.