Energy Incentive Programs that Work for You, Your Home, and the Environment
November 6, 2008
Every homeowner wants to have lower heating and utility bills, and increased comfort in their home. Who wouldn't? The common concern with making these adjustments to your home is that it is often costly. The good news is that Natural Resources Canada have made funds available through The Federal governments latest energy initiative, and provincial governments such as BC and Saskatchewan, have made funds available on the provincial level to help cover a portion of energy saving upgrades you can make to your home.
The ecoENERGY Retrofit for Homes
On January 1st 2008, Natural Resources Canada launched the ecoENERGY Retrofit for Homes program, a Federally Funded incentive that provides home and property owners with grants of up to $5,000, to offset the cost of making energy efficient improvements to their homes. EcoENERGY Retrofit grants apply to a host of measures that reduce energy consumption and provide for a cleaner environment, from increasing insulation to upgrading your homes furnace.
The ecoENERGY Retrofit grant is based on the type and number of energy improvements that have been made, and how much the efficiency of the home has been improved after an initial energy evaluation has been performed. The grant is based on how effective that upgrade is in saving energy, not on the cost of the upgrade. The maximum grant one can receive per home or multi-unit residential building is $5,000.
Qualifying for rebates is a very simple process, but it’s important to remember that the only upgrades you qualify for are those performed after the initial energy evaluation of your home is complete.
Here are 5 Steps of how to make the EcoENERGY Retrofit program work for you.
1. Hire a qualified energy advisor to perform an energy evaluation of your home.
2. Select the improvements from your home energy action checklist.
3. Implement the recommended energy upgrades within 18 months of your initial evaluation.
4. Call your energy advisor to perform your post-retrofit evaluation, to confirm your new energy rating and to submit your application on your behalf.
5. Wait for up to 90 days to receive your cheque
based on the eligible upgrades performed!
The ecoENERGY Retrofit program is similar to the previous Federal Energuide for Houses program offered in the past, but with some important differences. There are a number of new retrofit items included now that were not available through the Federal Energuide program such as EnergyStar rated cooling equipment, solar hot water systems, drain water heat recovery, and Low/dual flush toilets. The maximum rebate amount has also increased to $5,000.00.
In addition to the federal ecoENERGY retrofit program, The LiveSmart BC program is an initiative brought forward this year in British Columbia, and Saskatchewan has extended the Energuide for Houses program through March 2011. Both of these Provincial initiatives are virtually identical to the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, meaning homeowners in these provinces can receive a rebate both provincially and federally for the upgrades they make.
Whether or not you decide to take advantage of these grant programs is entirely up to you. There is of course a cost to you for making these upgrades, but there are many benefits as a result. First of all when you upgrade your homes insulation and draft proofing, the end result is less heat loss, lower heating bills, increased living comfort within the home, and upgrading your homes Furnace system to a high efficiency unit will consume less fossil fuels, and heat your home more efficiently, resulting in lower utility bills. In fact, by performing upgrades to your home in accordance with your initial energy assessment, you can save yourself 20-30% or more on your annual heating costs.
For more information on both Provincial and Federal Energy incentive programs, please view the resource links below. They can offer you valuable information on the variety of upgrade rebates that are available.
NR Can EcoENERGY Retrofit website
for a list of qualified Energy Analysis Specialists, and Grant amounts available through the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program.
LiveSmart BC Website
For information and grant amounts available through the LiveSmart BC Program.
Saskatchewan's Energuide for Houses Information
For information and grants available through the Energuide for Houses program.
Mr. Home Inspector
Qualified ecoENERGY and LiveSmart BC Analysis Specialists servicing the Lower Mainland through Shell Busey’s HouseSmart Home Services Referral Network.