Here are 10 great tips to green your home in Greater Vancouver and save $$$:
- Green Laundry detergent - Use phosphate-free, biodegradable detergent.
- Upgrade your washing machine - Replace your old washing machine with an ENERGY STAR washer that gets clothes clean using cold water and BC Hydro will rebate you $75. Wait until you have a full load instead of washing clothes as you need them. Clean your lint trap after every use.
- Install a clothesline - Dryers use a large amount of energy.
- Get a rack - If your neighbourhood or strata prohibits clotheslines, buy a small drying rack.
- Recycle - Recycling keeps materials that can be recovered (paper, glass, metals, plastics, food etc) out of the landfills; and in the case of organics like paper, food, yard waste, it significantly reduces greenhouse gases from landfills.
- Buy local - Buy local, organic and fair trade food. Your food doesn’t travel long distances, you support local farmers and the local economy and you consume less pesticides.
- Don’t use paper or plastic - Use cloth bags when you shop or reuse your plastic bags.
- Borrow green - Most financial institutions offer “green” mortgages, including:
- BMO Eco Smart Mortgage offers home buyers a 3.89% rate on qualifying green properties.
- RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage gives home buyers a $300 rebate for a home energy audit and a five-year 4.34% rate.
- Vancity offers a Bright Ideas Home Renovation Loan at prime +1% to home buyers and owners making green renovations.
- CMHC offers a 10% Mortgage Loan Premium refund and possible extended amortization for buyers purchasing an energy-efficient mortgage or making energy saving renovations.
- Loan program - Pay-as-you-Save (PAYS) loan program will help home owners and businesses finance energy efficiency improvements through a loan from BC Hydro or FortisBC. Pilot programs starting in November 2012 in certain BC locations.
- Green Tool Kit - BC Real Estate Association’s Green Tool Kit provides information, references and links. It also provides comprehensive information on rebates and incentives.
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (May 2013)