BURNABY, BC, Jan. 26, 2009 – A fire-blackened home can turn shades of green under a new insurance program being introduced by BCAA Insurance. BCAA’s “Green House” program offers two separate incentives to encourage homeowners to build, re-build or renovate with the environment in mind.
First, for an extra $30 per year, homeowners can choose coverage that will upgrade traditional home-building materials to eco-friendly EnerGuide standards, following a covered loss. Similarly, any damaged appliances will be replaced with energy saving models.
Second, BCAA home insurance policyholders will be rewarded for making environmental upgrades at home. For each purchase of an Energy Star(R)-qualified furnace, hot water heater, major appliance or low-flow toilet, customers will receive a one-time discount of $10 off their policy premium (to a maximum of five items, or $50). Customers who’ve made eligible Energy Star(R) purchases in the past 12 months can claim discounts by submitting receipts at their next policy renewal. Future purchases can be claimed on future renewals.
“This new insurance feature allows homeowners to help protect the environment while also protecting their homes,” says BCAA Home Insurance Product Manager, Brooke Hanson. “By choosing more energy efficient appliances or ‘greener’ home-building materials, homeowners can reduce energy use and carbon emissions. And, in addition to saving a few dollars on their insurance, they’ll save on their energy bills as well.”
To celebrate the launch of BCAA’s “Green House” program, BCAA is giving away a fuel-efficient 2009 Toyota Prius hybrid. Visit www.bcaa.com/green for details on how to win. In addition, BCAA Insurance is spreading the word on how homeowners can improve their energy efficiency; first step for homeowners interested in green remodeling. Below are some tips to get homeowners started:
BCAA tips to make your home more eco-friendly:
- Get an energy audit and make changes. From now until March 31, 2011, the LiveSmart BC Efficiency Incentive Program is offering rebates on energy audits, as well as incentives for efficiency upgrades. You can access up to $5,000 in energy efficiency grants. Take advantage of this opportunity to save energy and money.
- Keep the outside out. Insulate, especially in attics and basements, weather-strip doors and replace old, drafty windows. Seal air leaks, including those around heating and cooling ducts.
- Turn it off. Saving energy means more than turning off lights or turning down the thermostat. Many home appliances, entertainment systems and computer hardware come with built-in power saver features that “sleep” when not in active use.
- Make ‘Star’ purchases: Look for electronics and electrical appliances which meet the newest Energy Star(R) certification criteria. Refrigerators and freezers are two of the most energy-consuming appliances. If your appliance is old or not working well, it might be a good investment to replace it.
- Let there be light. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) use about one-quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs use to deliver the same amount of light. In addition, install lighting controls, such as dimmers, timers, motion sensors and photocells to reduce the amount of energy use.
- Cleaner can also be greener. Using cold water is the single most important way to reduce the energy consumption of your washing machine. The next most important steps are to use an energy-efficient washing machine and hang your clothes to dry whenever possible.
BCAA Insurance is one of the largest providers of home, auto, travel medical and life insurance in B.C. BCAA insures over 115,000 homes and 195,000 vehicles in the province. Each year, BCAA sells more travel insurance than any other provider in B.C. To learn more about the products and services offered by BCAA Insurance, visit www.bcaa.com.