The Costs of Going Green: How to Get Some Money Back

CKTB - NEWS - Energy Efficient

Making the switch to a greener life may seem daunting and pretty costly up front, but the government wants you to go green and they offer a number incentives to do so. 

Did you know you can get a rebate when buying an electric vehicle? Mary Anne Coules with BC Hyrdo says, "If you buy a new EV right now you can get up to $8,000 back through provincial and federal rebates. There's also an incentive through BC Hydro that's for up to $350 to install your own charging station at home."

That's a good amount of savings just for choosing electric over gas, let alone the cost savings on gas and maintenance. 

There's even rebate options for plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

BC Hyrdo says you could get up to $1,500 off the after-tax price when buying or leasing a plug-in hybrid EV. 

Starting a garden or taking on backyard composting?  Although the sale is over for the season, Regional District of Central Okanagan Waste Reduction Facilitator Cynthia Coates says each spring they sell backyard composters at a fraction of the retail cost. 

"The regional district subsidizes those. We get, first and foremost, a discounted rate by buying many of them at once and then we also subsidize them a little bit as well to try to bring the price point down so that it encourages more people to give it a go."

Maybe you're renovating - the government could help pay for that. You could see a rebate of up to $10,000 for making your home more efficient. 

Sally MacDonald, also with BC Hydro, says there are a few upgrades with rebate options. Windows and doors, insulation, your hot water heater or your home heating could all put money back in your pocket. 

"There are so many great rebates available at the moment that it's a really good time to start looking at your home as a whole and prioritizing which upgrades you can make to help you save money at the end of the day."

MacDonald says there's even more incentive for whole home renos. 

"We also have bonus rebates. If you do two upgrades you can qualify for a $300 rebate and if you do three or more upgrades there's another home energy improvement bonus that will be based on how much energy you are saving by doing those upgrades."

So not only does going green save you money, the costs could be returned in part. 

Eligibility requirements for EV and home rebates can be found on the BC hydro website. 

The federal government even has incentives with the Canada Greener Homes Grant - up to $5,000 for energy efficient retrofits.