Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett

Premier talks energy savings

BC Hydro, Fortis BC are partnering to offer rebates that the province hopes will counter the 28 per cent rate increase announced last year

  • Jul. 11, 2014 10:00 a.m.

BC Hydro and Fortis BC are offering a suite of energy efficiency programs to help B.C. residents counter the energy rate increases announced last year.

Premier Christy Clark announced the government’s expansion of energy efficiency programs with broadened eligibility requirements during her visit to Cranbrook on Thursday, July 10.

Joining Premier Clark for the announcement at Cranbrook’s BC Hydro headquarters was Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines.

BC Hydro, a Crown corporation, and Fortis BC, a private energy provider, are together spending $5.4 million on programs to reduce energy costs, targeted at low-income households.

“Reducing, reusing, recycling – we talk about it, but they are really hard to do, and it’s certainly hard to reduce the amount of energy that you use,” said Premier Clark. “You can take a couple days off from having a shower, you can decide you want to cut down on the number of loads of laundry that you want to do, you can turn off your lights. But for lots of people, they do those things and it’s really hard to find a way to get further savings in the amount that you reduce.”

It will be easier for British Columbians to apply for the programs, and about double the number of B.C. residents will be eligible for the programs that will lead to energy savings, the Premier said.

“These upgrades are going to help homeowners reduce their costs by up to 30 per cent.

“It’s about making sure that we find a way to meet the needs of British Columbians by using less of this incredibly valuable resource and making sure that we are conserving our environment in the process.”

Minister Bennett said the announcement follows on from the news last November that BC Hydro rates will increase by 28 per cent over the next five years.

“At that time we indicated that we were going to spend the next few months trying to get together programs that would assist low-income British Columbians to deal with the increase in electricity rates. That’s what this announcement is about here today.”

There are three programs that British Columbians will be able to take advantage of, and the province has increased the income cut-off so more people are eligible – about 20 per cent of Hydro customers, and about 30 per cent of Fortis customers.

Under the Energy Conservation and Assistance Program, low-income households can get free energy assessments and installation of energy saving products, ranging from $300 to $5,000.

The Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) offers homeowners new rebates, which have a total value of $6,000 per household, including a $750 bonus offer for installing three or more upgrades, such as Energy Star windows, high efficiency heating systems, insulation and draft proofing.

Finally, British Columbians can order an Energy Saving Kit on BC Hydro’s website that will be mailed to them free of charge. It contains products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, weather stripping, fridge thermometers and a high efficiency showerhead that could save homes $100 a year on their energy bill.

You can find out more about the programs by visiting

The East Kootenay Energy Diet is also a good way to access the rebates and find out which ones apply to your household. For more information, contact or phone 250-531-0690.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

CNOY is a family friendly walk/fundraiser hosted by Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays to help those who are hungry, homeless and hurting. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 and we need your help! The CNOY is set for Feb. 20.
There’s a place for everyone: Coldest Night of the Year walk is back

CNOY fundraising walk to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger set for Feb. 20

It happened this week in 1914

Jan. 17-23: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Most Read