Throughout the election campaign, all three main BC parties made promises to be leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While all parties agreed incentives for retrofitting homes were important to meet climate change goals, BCREA knows the government needs to make significant improvements if it’s going to meet current carbon reduction targets.
Government incentives for home renovations appear to have had some positive impacts given that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings decreased by eight per cent from 2007 to 2017. This is encouraging, and we believe that extending existing programs and providing new incentives will spur additional actions by property owners.
BCREA wrote an op-ed on the importance of widespread energy retrofits that are available to commercial, purpose-built rental, multi-family strata and single-family properties. Delivery models should also be diverse to increase uptake potential, including upfront cash incentives and tax credits.
It’s also important to educate British Columbians on how they can benefit from recurring and new programs. Public outreach for consumers can help to encourage demand for voluntary retrofits to reduce carbon footprints and energy costs.
Incentives for energy retrofits can contribute to progress on climate change goals and also create new job opportunities and serve as an economic stimulus. The benefit of incentive-based programs delivered in combination with adequate education is that property owners can evaluate what changes will provide them the most benefit in their unique context.
With more British Columbians staying at home as a result of rising COVID-19 cases, there is no better time for the government to help all property owners take steps to improve their home’s energy efficiency. When more property owners are able to make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprints, all British Columbians benefit.
See our full list of election recommendations here.
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