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Frequently Asked Questions

CleanBC Custom Program

What measures qualify for EfficiencyBC Custom Program funding?

  • Heat recovery chiller*
  • Air-to-water heat pump
  • Air-to-water heat pump water heater
  • Ground source heat pump
  • Air-to-air rooftop heat pump
  • Water-to-water heat pump
  • Exhaust air heat recovery heat pump
  • Sewage heat recovery heat pump
  • Electric boiler**
  • Electric water heater**
  • High-efficiency (>75) HRV*
  • Air source VRF
  • Water source VRF

*Proposed measures leading to a gas dominant heating system (i.e. gas heating equipment with greater than 50% share in total building heating energy consumption) should first contact FortisBC to inquire about eligibility in its gas DSM program.
**Electric boiler only will be accepted if all other more efficient heat pump options are not feasible.

What is the Low-Carbon Electrification Workbook?

The Low-Carbon Electrification Workbook (Workbook) is an Excel spreadsheet that helps customers and program administrators determine if there is viable opportunity within a building. The Workbook contains preliminary building and equipment information, project estimates, relevant project team information, and is mandatory for those seeking Custom Program Funding. The Workbook is a free tool accessed through your BC Hydro Key Account Manager, and is filled out by the customer and/or consultant and is a requirement for program participation.

The Custom Program offers funding supporting energy studies, which are used to complete the inputs of the Workbook. Energy studies provide detailed technical information, quantified energy information, expected implementation costs, and help determine the most effective energy efficiency measure for implementation.

The Program will support up to 50% of an energy study’s cost, up to a maximum of $20,000. Any remaining balance will be funded by the customer. Energy studies must be completed by a registered member of the BC Hydro Alliance of Energy Professionals.

How many projects can I receive funding for?

At the parent company level, you are eligible to receive a maximum of $200,000 in Custom Program funding, which can be spread across multiple projects/properties. Approvals are subject to overall program funding availability.

Are demonstration projects eligible for Custom Program funding?

Demonstration projects use commercially available technologies that are not widely used in BC or are relatively new on the market. Demonstration projects may be considered for Custom Program funding if they create ‘real life’ examples of innovation and encourage customers to adopt emerging technologies. Such projects will be approved at the discretion of program administration.

I’ve completed an energy study prior to applying to the Custom Program. Is this study eligible for capital incentive funding?

Yes. An energy study completed prior to the launch of the Custom Program or funded from a third-party can be eligible for Capital Incentive funding provided it meets the requirement in the Low-Carbon Electrification Workbook and is approved by BC Hydro. However, these studies are not eligible for Custom Program Energy Study funding.

I have not received and signed my Capital Incentive Agreement but have time sensitive purchasing and budget decisions. Can I purchase these materials before finalizing my Incentive Agreement?

Equipment purchased before the finalizing of the Capital Incentive Agreement will be deemed ineligible for Custom Program incentive funding.

I have applied for additional funding through a third-party organization, will this affect the Capital Incentive funding I receive?

Yes. The total amount of third party funding would be subtracted from the original incremental cost applied to the original calculated incentive amount. This updated incremental cost would then be applied and a new incentive amount would be calculated.

For example, if you have a project with a $77,000 incremental cost, that will produce 2,829 tC02e of lifetime GHG savings, your maximum eligible incentive will be $38,500 (50% of incremental cost). If you have received $10,000 from a third-party towards that same project, the Custom Program incentive would be recalculated to $33,500 ($77,000-10,000= $67,000 incremental cost).

What happens if my project requires an extension?

Projects will be expected to be completed within an 18-month timeframe. If an extension is required, the request must be made to your Key Account Manager. BC Hydro will assess the request and if approved will issue a one-time only extension of 6 months after the original expected project completion date as per the Incentive Agreement.

What is energy benchmarking, and why am I required to sign up for Portfolio Manager?

Building energy benchmarking is the ongoing review of your organization’s energy consumption to determine if your building’s energy performance is getting better or worse. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) supports building energy benchmarking through the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager, a free online tool developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Participants in the Custom Program are required to have a Portfolio Manager account containing the building where the incented measures will be implemented. Participants will also be required to share access to their Portfolio Manager in ‘Read Only’ mode with BC Hydro and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources’ (EMPR) Program Administrator. This will enable program administrators to easily verify that your account has been properly set up before administering the incentive payment.

What if the consultant I want to work with is not a member of the BC Hydro Alliance of Energy Professionals?

If the consultant you have chosen to work with is not an approved member of BC Hydro’s Alliance of Energy Professionals, the consultant may contact BC Hydro for assistance with gaining membership. After review and consent from BC Hydro, the application may continue moving forward while membership application is being completed.