BCAA Insurance launches "Green House" program

    BURNABY, BC, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - 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: How 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.

For further information:

For further information: Editors note: For further information, contact:
Brooke Hanson, BCAA Home Insurance Product Manager, Office: (604) 268-5590,
E-mail: brooke.hanson@bcaa.com; Trace Acres, Director, Corporate
Communications & Government Relations, Office: (604) 268-5029, Cell: (604)
788-3753, E-mail: trace.acres@bcaa.com

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