Kelowna looking at tax break to make your house more energy efficient | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna looking at tax break to make your house more energy efficient

November 28, 2019 - 4:53 PM

Making homes more energy efficient will lower greenhouse gas emissions and save money on heating bills but that will cost homeowners at least $5,000 upfront. That’s why the City of Kelowna is looking at ways to get more people to retrofit their homes.

A report going to city council on Monday, Dec. 2, says there will be 90,000 homes in the city by 2040.

New building code requirements force builders of new homes to make them more energy efficient but by 2040, 70 per cent of the city’s housing stock will have been built prior to 2018. The only way to make those homes more energy efficient is to renovate them.

But that’s expensive.

Any improvement that will meet minimum emission requirements will cost at least $5,000 and could range as high as $50,000 if the home is made more airtight and attic insulation is improved.

The report says the City could use incentives like topping up existing retrofit rebates or offer tax breaks to encourage retrofits.

It also suggests requiring an emissions audit when a homeowner applies for a renovation permit but, first, it has to check on the legality of such a move.

In order to meet greenhouse gas emission targets, the report says there needs to be 1,617 homes a year retrofitted to the point where they reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent.

Between 2014 and 2018, an average of 669 residential renovation permits were issued. That means almost three times as many homes will need to be renovated each year and those renovations will have to include significant energy upgrades.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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