Better Off North Cowichan

BETTER OFF North Cowichan is a community-based energy conservation initiative to improve the energy efficiency of homes in North Cowichan, help residents save money and reduce our community's greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of North Cowichan's award winning Climate Action and Energy Plan.

BETTER OFF North Cowichan is being offered in partnership with BC Hydro and FortisBC and City Green Solutions, a non-profit organization specializing in energy efficiency, is providing program support.

Better Off North Cowichan

Water and Energy Savings Kits

North Cowichan residents are welcome to pick up a FREE kit at the Municipal Hall, 7030 Trans-Canada Highway, and Fuller Lake Arena, 2876 Fuller Lake Road, during regular business.

You need to bring in your utility account information, proof of residency (utility bill or identification with your name and address) and your old showerhead.

Be aware that the replacement shower head does not fit all shower head fixtures, eg. hand held wands.

North Cowichan is offering these kits as part of the larger Tap by Tap program. Please contact City Green Solutions at 1.866.381.9995 if you have more questions.

Washing Machine Rebates

The Municipality of North Cowichan, in partnership with BC Hydro, is offering rebates of between $100 to $200 on select EnergyStar® washing machines to North Cowichan residents. Stay tuned for more appliance rebates in the spring.

Below are the types of washing machines and their related rebates:

  • Front-loading clothes washers with an Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) of 2.76 - 2.94 are eligible for a $100 rebate.
  • Top-loading clothes washers with an Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) of 2.30 or higher are eligible for a $100 rebate.
  • Clothes washers with a Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) of 2.94 or higher are eligible for a $200 rebate.

For more information and to apply, click on the Appliance Rebate Program or call 1-800-BC-HYDRO or email .

Residential Home Energy Evaluations

Reduced rate Home Energy Evaluations are available to homeowners in single family homes, duplexes, town homes, and mobile homes in North Cowichan. A Home Energy Evaluations:

  • Is completed by an Energy Advisor
  • Is a basement to attic evaluation of your home to determine your home's current and potential energy efficiency
  • Gives you prioritized energy savings recommendations so that you can get the best savings for your budget
  • Lets you know about the latest building science, technologies, and techniques to improve your home's comfort and energy performance.
  • Provides you with your home's EnerGuide rating so you know how your home compares with others
  • Gives you access to extra financial incentives for energy saving home improvements.

Home Energy Evaluations typically cost $300 but North Cowichan home owners are eligible for the reduced rate of $200 + $20 tax and mileage (and additional fees may apply).

Click here to get started with you home energy evaluation. You will be BETTER OFF.

Get Started

Post Retrofit Home Evaluations

A limited number of FREE Post Retrofit Evaluations are available. A Post Retrofit Home Evaluation provides you with a new EnerGuide rating based on the improvements you made.

To qualify for this Evaluation you have to complete three or more HERO Bonus Program eligible improvements OR replace your existing heating system with a heat pump. You have to complete your improvements and your Post Retrofit Evaluation before 31 March 2016.

Home Energy Coaching

Participating homeowners can access Home Energy Coaching to receive more in depth technical assistance and support and simplify the home energy improvement process. The Home Energy Coach will:

  • Review your Home Energy Evaluation report
  • Discuss your goals and priorities
  • Provide guidance on how to best access rebates
  • Provide assistance with identifying the best products for your home energy improvements

Discuss the options with your Energy Advisor or by contacting the City Green office.

Home Energy Conservation Workshops

BETTER OFF North Cowichan hosted three Home Energy Conservation Workshops in the fall of 2015, in partnership with City Green Solutions and North Cowichan's Environmental Advisory Committee. These workshops gave participants lots of useful information to lower home energy costs, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Councilor Kate Marsh, the energy vampire, shows two Crofton residents the different amounts of energy consumption for various household appliances.

Councilor Kate Marsh

Glenys Verhulst, City Green Solutions representative, talks to attendees at about BETTER OFF North Cowichan at Alexander School Gym.

Glenys Verhulst

Oil to Heat Pump Incentive Program

The Oil to Heat Pump Incentive program can provide up to $1,700 worth of incentives per home to help homeowners upgrade from oil heating to an efficient electric air source heat pumps.

  1. What are the benefits to switching from oil to a heat pump?
    1. Save money on heating bills.
      • A typical household can save about 75% of your annual heating costs by switching.
      • Heat pumps pay for themselves quickly through energy savings, and over the life of the system your investment pays off - typical a return on investment between 20 to 39%
    2. Avoid expensive and damaging spills
      Oil spills from leaking tanks can be expensive and cause environmental damage. Clean up costs typically range from $65,000 to $118,000. These costs are the homeowners' responsibility and are often not covered by home insurance.

    3. Shrink you carbon footprint
      Oil heat produces a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The average reduction for Vancouver Island homes that upgrade from an oil heating system to an air source heat pump is between 6.8 to 7.99 tonne of GHG emissions per year throughout the heat pump's lifetime. This is better than never driving your car for 15 years.

  2. How do I qualify for these incentives?
    See the Oil to Heat Pump for all information. You must have a pre- and post-Retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation to be eligible for the incentives. North Cowichan residents are currently eligible for reduced rate evaluations. If you are taking advantage of the heat pump incentive program your evaluation is reduced by an additional $150. Take a look at the BETTER OFF North Cowichan webpage for more details.

  3. What do I do with my old oil tank?
    You must remove your old oil tank and have it disposed of it in accordance with all relevant regulations, including the BC Fire Code.

  4. What permits or approvals do I need?
    You will need an electrical permit from the Provincial Safety Authority and if you are doing any structural work you will also need a building permit. Contact the Municipal Building Department at 250.746.3165.

  5. Where can I get more information?
    Check out the program website
    Phone 1.877.545.6247

This program is funded by the Provincial Ministry of Energy and Mines' Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund. This program is being administered by City Green Solutions.

Rebates and Incentives

BC Hydro and FortisBC are offering other opportunities to improve the energy efficiency in your home. Click here for more details.

Borrow an Energy Monitor

An energy monitor can help you measure and track the amount of electricity used by different appliances or electronic devices in your home.

In partnership with the Vancouver Island Regional Library, Cowichan Branch you can borrow an energy meter to help you measure and track the amount of electricity used by various appliances and electronic devices in your home.

The Kill A Watt Meter or Watts Up Monitor are easy to use and include instructions for both ( Kill A Watt Meter / Watts Up Monitor).

Measuring your electricity usage allows you to make simple changes that will help save you energy and money, quickly and easily.

Stay Informed

To receive more information about this program, and notification of energy conservation workshops and other upcoming initiatives aimed at reducing our energy consumption and GHG emissions, sign up here.

Contact Us

For further information about BETTER OFF North Cowichan Program, please contact: Brigid Reynolds Senior Planner 250.746.3156