COST SAVING PROGRAMS

Home Buyers’ Plan

Canada Revenue Agency’s Home Buyers' Plan lets qualifying home buyers use up to $25,000 of their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to buy a home. Couples can use up to $50,000. The home must be a principal residence, the home buyers must not have owned a home within the past five years and the loan must be repaid with 15 years.

Disabled home buyers upgrading to a more accessible home also qualify as do relatives helping disabled home buyers. Home buyers who have already used the plan and have fully repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the plan a second time.

Canada Revenue Agency, Home Buyers’ Plan 1-800-959-8287

First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

This federal non-refundable income tax credit for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation.

It’s calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year by $5,000.

Canada Revenue Agency, www.cra.gc.ca/hbtc  1-800-959-8281

GST Rebate on New Homes

New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the 5% GST if the purchase price is less than $350,000. The rebate is up to 36% of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000.

Canada Revenue Agency, GST-New housing rebate  1-800-959-8287

BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

Home buyers in BC pay a provincial Property Transfer Tax (PPT) when they buy a home. The tax is charged at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the remainder up to $425,000.

First-time home buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000. Buyers can’t have previously owned a home anywhere in the world.

BC Ministry of Finance, Property Transfer Tax, 250-387-0604

BC Property Tax Deferment Programs

Seniors
Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Financial hardship
Qualifying low-income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Families with children
Qualifying low-income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes

BC Ministry of Finance, Enter “Property Tax Deferment” in Search box

Home Adaptations For Independence (HAFI)

This program is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments.

The HAFI program offers financial assistance to low-income seniors and low-income persons with disabilities to support accessibility modifications that will promote continued safe and independent living. The assistance is available to eligible home owners and tenants.

BC Housing, 1-800-407-7757

BC Home Owner Grant

Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value up to $1,295,000. The basic grant gives home owners:

• a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver, and Fraser Valley regional districts
• an additional grant of $200 to rural homeowners elsewhere in the province
• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war verterans of certain wars

BC Ministry of Finance, Home Owner Grant

PST Residential Energy Credit

Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel will receive a provincial goverment point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the PST of 7%.

Home owners and landlords who buy energy not separately metered, for example, in a cooperative, and who don't receive the credit on their utility bill, can apply to the provincial government for the credit.

Residential Energy Credit and Rebate Program

BC Residential Energy Credit

Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the PST of 7%.

Energy Credit, 1-877-388-4440

City of Vancouver Rain Barrel Subsidy Program

The City of Vancouver provides a subsidy of 50% of the cost of a rain barrel for Vancouver residents. With the subsidy, the rain barrel costs $75. There is also a backyard composter for $25.

For info: Barrel Composter

Local Government  Water Conservation Incentives

Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to residents to help save water. For example, the City of Coquitlam offers residents a $100 rebate and the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver offer a $50 rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet.

For info visit your local municipality’s website and search “toilet rebate”

Local Government Water Meter Programs

Your municipality may provide a program for voluntary water metering so that you pay only for the amount of water you use. Delta, Richmond and Surrey have programs and other municipalities may soon follow.

For info: Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘water meter’ to see if there is a program.

Energy-Saver Mortgages

Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy efficient audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy SaverTM Mortgage may qualify for a $300 rebate credited to their RBC account.

RBC Energy-Saver Mortgage, 1-800-769-2511

BC Hydro Rebates/Savings

Fridge buy-back: $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition.

Appliance rebate: save on selected ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, from $25 to $75.

Lighting: switch to ENERGY STAR LEDs, CFLs and lighting fixtures.

Home electronics: televisions and other electronics identified with Power Smart messaging use significantly less energy than standard products.

Livesmart BC: by increasing the energy efficiency of your home, you could receive more than $7,000 in rebates.

For info: BC Hydro - Rebates and Savings

Fortis BC Rebate Program

A range of rebates for home owners include a $75 rebate for upgrading to an ENERGY STAR clothes washer, a $300 fireplace rebate, $500 off water heaters, and $1,000 for switching to natural gas.

Fortis BC, 1-888-224-2710

Fortis BC Program for Businesses

For commercial buildings, provides a cash rebate of up to $60,000 for the purchase price of an energy efficient boiler, up to $15,000 for the purchase of a high-efficiency water heater, and receive funding towards a new construction energy study.

Fortis BC 1-866-884-8833

Low Interest “Green” Loans

Vancity’s Bright Ideas home renovation loan
Offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1% for up to 10 years for green renovations.

RBC's Energy Saver Loan
Offers 1% off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000.

BMO Eco Smart Mortgage
Offers home buyers a special rate on qualifying green properties.

CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund
Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy savings renovations.

For info: visit Vancity, RBC, CMHC, BMO