Energy-efficiency upgrades for rental apartments and accommodations – frequently asked questions

Review the terms and conditions to ensure your building qualifies and apply online. If approved, we’ll contact you within 30 days to schedule the work.

Before scheduled upgrades in apartment buildings, we’ll provide owners or property managers with posters to display in common areas of the building to remind tenants; however, it’s your responsibility as per section 29 of the Residential Tenancy Act to provide tenants with proper notice. During the upgrades, the property manager, owner or a building representative must accompany our technicians as they install products in each tenant's suite and complete the building energy assessment. Upgrades for hotels and motels will be installed when suites are unoccupied.

It will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes per suite/unit to install the water-efficient showerhead, two faucet aerators and light bulbs (if applicable). The installations will take place on a weekday. The building energy assessment may be scheduled on the same day.

Our contractor, Fisher Resource Efficiency Solutions Company Ltd., will be doing this work. They can be contacted at 1-877-327-6137.

To install aerators, the existing faucet must have a standard threaded tap. If your faucets are too old or don’t have threads, we won’t be able to install the water-efficient aerators. For showerheads, the existing shower arm must be 1/2 inch threaded pipe. As well, if there are units with rain showerheads or faucets with pullouts, etc. we won’t be able to upgrade them.

This program is designed to help building owners learn how they can reduce energy consumption for space and water heating and lighting (in the Southern Interior). The most cost-effective way to achieve this is by upgrading boilers, water heaters and lighting controls.

Low-flow, water-efficient toilets save water, but they don’t save energy. We recommend you check with your local municipality for toilet rebates.

While you wouldn’t be eligible for new upgrades through this program, you can take advantage of the Commercial Energy Assessment and rebates on commercial water heaters and efficient boilers. Customers in the Southern Interior may also qualify for rebates on common area lighting and controls.

The water-efficient showerheads and aerators are brand name products and come with a warranty. Tenants and guests may even notice an improved shower experience, because the showerheads have a patented pressure-compensating technology, a consistent flow rate and multiple spray settings, which make them feel as if the water pressure is the same as, if not better than before.

For buildings with central natural gas water heating, the energy saved by switching to water-efficient fixtures should equal about $24 a year per unit.1 For FortisBC electricity customers with central electric water heating, the savings per unit is about $62 per year.2 If the existing showerhead we replace is more than 25 years old, the savings could be more. 

The light bulb replacements for apartments in the Southern Interior will save each unit approximately $5 per year on their electricity bill.

1Based on 2.9 gigajoules of natural gas saved annually when replacing a 9.5 LPM showerhead with a water-efficient 5.5 LPM model and installing two 5.5 LPM faucet aerators. Source: FortisBC Conservation Potential Review 2011. Note: savings are based on April 2021 natural gas commercial Rate 2 of $8.15 a gigajoule. Rates do not include basic charge, carbon or other taxes.
2Based on 594 kWh saved annually when replacing a 9.5 LPM showerhead with a water-efficient 5.5 LPM model and installing two 5.5 LPM faucet aerators. Source: FortisBC Conservation Potential Review 2011. Savings are based on January 2021 FortisBC electricity commercial blended rate of $.1054 per kWh. Rates do not include basic charge or taxes.

As FortisBC provides electricity service in the Southern Interior only, light bulb upgrades are therefore only available to FortisBC commercial electricity customers and municipal electricity customers of Grand Forks, Summerland, Penticton or Nelson Hydro.