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Residential Energy Credit and Rebate

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BC Tax - >  BC HST
    Sales Taxes  ->  GST -> 
        Provincial Sales Tax  ->  BC HST -> Residential Energy Credit and Rebate Program

Residential Energy Credit and Rebate Program - no longer available

The residential energy credit and rebate program was available only until March 31, 2013.  Rebates must be applied for within two years from the date the residential consumer paid the tax.  This means applications could have been made up until March 31, 2015.

British Columbia harmonized its provincial sales tax (Social Services Tax, aka PST) with the Federal goods and services tax (GST) effective July 1, 2010.  The Consumption Tax Rebate and Transition Act, which eliminated the PST and prepared BC for the HST, was passed in the BC legislature on April 29, 2010.  The HST was then replaced with PST plus GST effective April 1, 2013.

The harmonized sales tax (HST) rate for BC was 12%, made up of the 5% federal component and 7% provincial component.

A provincially administered energy allowance is being provided, in the form of a credit or rebate, for purchases of residential energy in BC.  The energy allowance is for the provincial component of HST paid on residential energy.  The allowance is not available for HST paid on service, administration and other prescribed charges.

Qualifying Energy Products

Energy products qualifying for the Residential Energy Credit or Rebate:

bulletelectricity
bulletnatural gas
bulletpropane
bulletheating oil (including biodiesel or similar renewable fuel)
bulletkerosene
bulletheat (including transferred energy that results in cooling), and
bulletsteam

Energy products qualifying for the rebate only, and not the credit provided by suppliers:

bulletwood when used as a source of energy, and
bulletpelletized fuel when used as a source of energy

Residential Energy Credit

When qualifying energy products are purchased for residential use, which includes energy for lighting, cooking and similar residential uses, as well as heating, usually a credit will be provided directly by the supplier on the utility bill.  The purchaser must tell the supplier if the purchase is not for residential use.  The purchaser may be subject to a 10% penalty for obtaining an energy credit to which he was not entitled, or a 25% penalty if the credit was obtained by making a false or deceptive statement, or by fraud.

Residential Energy Rebate

If no energy credit has been provided to the purchaser, and the energy product was purchased in whole or in part for residential use in a residential dwelling, then the purchaser can apply for the Residential Energy Rebate.  A consumer may be subject to a 10% penalty for obtaining an energy rebate to which he was not entitled, or a 25% penalty if the rebate was obtained by making a false or deceptive statement, or by fraud.

The rebate amount = 7% (BC component of the HST) x eligible consideration.

Eligible consideration is the amount paid or payable for the purchase of an energy product for residential use in a residential dwelling, other than:

bulletservice charges
bulletadministrative charges
bulletequipment-related charges
bulletthe power levy established under s. 28 of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act (electricity only in the South Coast Transportation Service Region).

The rebate will not include the provincial component of the HST for which

bulletthe purchaser may claim a GST/HST input tax credit, or
bulletthe purchaser may be paid a rebate under s. 259 (Public Service Body Rebate) of the Excise Tax Act (Canada).

Claiming the Rebate

A consumer can submit

bullet1 application per calendar year, OR
bulleta maximum of 3 applications per calendar year where each application is for a rebate of at least $100 of the provincial component of the HST paid on eligible consideration.

The amount of the rebate claimed per application must be at least $10.

Applications must be submitted within 2 years after the date the HST is paid.

Mixed Use Properties

These are properties used for a residential use and another use such as a farm or a home-based business.  The purchaser will receive the rebate only on the cost of the energy used for residential purposes.  The calculation method used by the purchaser to determine the residential energy portion must be used consistently throughout a fiscal year, or until it is no longer reasonable in the circumstances.  If the purchaser can claim a GST/HST input tax credit on the non-residential portion, the same calculation method must be used.

Change in Use

When a purchaser receives an energy credit directly from a supplier, or an energy rebate from the government, and then any portion of the energy product is used for a use other than residential use in a residential dwelling, the purchaser must repay the applicable portion of the rebate to the government by the 23rd day of the month following the month the energy was used for the non-residential use.  A penalty of 10% may be applied if this repayment is not made.  A 25% penalty may be applied if the purchaser obtained the credit or rebate by wilfully making a false or deceptive statement, or by fraud.

Revised: September 19, 2017

 

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