FGIA: Let the rebates roll
Joining HCPN is a route to generous programs in B.C.
October 19, 2023 By Amy Roberts
At our 2023 FGIA Summer Conference, Greg Bloom, industry relations manager of the Vancouver-based Home Performance Stakeholder Council, offered an overview of window and door replacement rebates and incentive programs that are available in British Columbia.
Bloom told us that industry professionals have long known that retrofitting with a whole-home, or house-as-a-system approach, is key to improving performance. However, most homeowners in British Columbia have only been completing stand-alone energy retrofits. HPSC is a non-profit established in 2015 to enhance whole-home retrofits. It has multiple training and industry partners in Canada and the U.S. HPSC maintains the Home Performance Contractor Network, a database of retrofit contractors, including those specializing in windows and doors, in British Columbia. HPCN contractors have certified trade designations. They also have completed best- practices training and are committed to ethical business models. These contractors are subject to periodic reviews and quality assurance checks by HPCN.
It is beneficial for residential window manufacturers selling products in British Columbia to encourage local installation teams to join HPCN. This assures end-customers they’re working with a registered, qualified, expert contractor. They also have access to home-upgrade rebates or incentives from many government and utility programs in the province, such as the CleanBC Better Homes Income-Qualified Offer. Many provincial rebate and incentive programs require customers to hire contractors with an HPCN membership in order to be eligible for their offers.
Contractors can join HPCN by applying with some standard business documentation. Window and door contractors must finish a course (“Retrofitting with a House-as-a-System Approach,” 3.5 hours); read a resource (“Best Practices for Window and Door Replacements”); and pass an exam (“Replacement Installer Fundamentals,” two hours). HPSC’s Window and Door Sector Council is working with industry experts and key stakeholders to develop and execute an in-person, hands on, advanced window and door training specific to residential retrofits in British Columbia. It’s expected to launch in the first quarter of 2024, so look out for that.
Once approved, contractors benefit from ongoing management as well as having access to subsidized training and qualifications; eligibility for rebate and incentive programs; whole home performance support and knowledge; public recognition for quality work; and opportunities to network with other home performance professionals. Contractors who join are added to HPCN’s publicly available searchable contractor network, which customers can sort by location, company name or efficiency upgrade type, such as windows, doors, or skylights.
Contractors are paid available rebates directly. For windows and doors, contractors are eligible for income-qualified program rebates of up to $9,500. They’re also eligible for the Home Energy Improvement Bonus Rebate (three or more upgrades, up to $2,000); the Greener Homes Grant (up to $5,000); municipal top-ups; and financing options with no interest loans up to $40,000 payable over 10 years.
Knowing these rebate programs inside and out can be a powerful sales tool for companies, said Bloom. Those who conduct business in British Columbia should familiarize themselves with HPCN and consider joining it.
Amy Roberts is FGIA director of Canadian and technical glass operations
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