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Government Expands Programs to Help Customers Lower Energy Costs

On July 10, Premier Christy Clark announced that government, in partnership with BC Hydro and FortisBC, has expanded its energy-efficiency programs to help customers reduce their electricity and gas bills.

Since REALTORS® often work with clients who plan to update or revamp aspects of a home before selling or after buying, the expansion of these programs could be extremely valuable information to share.

A new Home Energy Rebate Offer will provide homeowners with up to $6,000 in rebates for energy-efficiency upgrades focused on reducing water and space heating costs, such as heating, hot water systems and insulation (which could reduce their energy bills by up to 30 per cent). The program expands on the rebates that have been available over the past year to residential customers as part of the former LiveSmart BC program.

To assist low-income homeowners, updates to existing low-income programs will nearly double the number of eligible customers from roughly 180,000 to 325,000 and make it easier to apply. Low income households can reduce their energy costs through BC Hydro and FortisBC’s Energy Conservation Assistance Program, which offers free energy assessments and energy saving products, and the Energy Saving Kit Program, which provides customers with a number of simple, easy-to-install, energy-saving products.

To read the provincial government’s detailed news release announcing the expansion of these valuable programs,

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SURREY, BC – Continued demand for single family homes and townhomes resulted in the busiest July in five years
for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 1,615 sales in July,
an increase of 11 per cent compared to the 1,456 sales in July last year and 1.4 per cent above the 10‐year average
for the month.

Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “July’s steady activity is a continuation of what we’ve been seeing all
year. Our market has fully recovered from last year’s slump and has returned to what we typically see in the Fraser
Valley, which is a steady, consistent market.”

In July, the Board received 2,724 new listings, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to July 2013 taking the number of
active listings in Fraser Valley to 9,636, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to the volume available in July 2013.
Werger says, “Although our sales were slightly above average for the month, the volume of new listings added to
the MLS® was 7 per cent lower than what’s typical for July, so for certain property types and price ranges we’re
actually seeing a shortage of listings creating a seller’s market for particular homes.

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