Spring Greening with ecoENERGY
Improve your home's energy efficiency with an ecoENERGY Retrofit!
Photo: House, © Ashleigh Wilson, 2008. - Click to enlarge.
You know that spring is just around the corner when real estate signs begin popping up in neighbourhoods across the country.
Many people choose to purchase an older home for a variety of reasons, including character, established neighbourhoods, or shorter commutes. And while older homes do have their charms, they can also be inefficient and cost you more in energy and heating costs.
In the past, homeowners were on their own to find ways to make their homes more energy efficient. But now, thanks to Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program homeowners can retrofit their homes to improve energy efficiency and help the environment - and their wallets - at the same time.
Who is Eligible for the Program?
The purpose of the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's existing housing sector. You are eligible for the program if you currently own the home you live in, be it a bungalow, detached, semi-detached or low-rise condo home.
While there is no age limit determining program eligibility for existing houses, those houses built before 1985 will benefit the most, as these homes provide more opportunities to improve energy efficiency than newer models.
New homes and houses under construction are not eligible for grants because they should already be constructed to be quite efficient.
How to Get Started
Image: EnerGuide Rating, © Natural Resources Canada, 2008. - Click to enlarge.
To start the process, homeowners must first have an energy evaluation done by a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) licensed energy advisor. The advisor will conduct a series of tests to find out what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Once the assessment has been completed, you will receive a personalized report that outlines a list of recommended improvements that will improve the energy efficiency of your home. You will also receive an EnerGuide rating that shows the energy efficiency of your home in comparison to other homes in Canada.
What kinds of retrofits are eligible for grants?
There are a wide variety of retrofits that are eligible for grants under the ecoENERGY program. Air sealing, installing low-flow toilets, and replacing old heating and cooling systems with new energy efficient models, are just a few examples of the retrofits that homeowners can choose from to improve the efficiency of their home.
In addition to the grants available under ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes, selected provincial, territorial and municipal organizations also offer grants and incentives for energy saving upgrades.
How Much Does It Cost? How Much Can I Save?
Costs will include the energy evaluation fee of $450, as well as the cost of the retrofits themselves. In some provinces, the assessment cost is offset by a subsidy at the time of the assessment, or a rebate which will be received after your application is received. Retrofit costs will vary from homeowner to homeowner and will depend on the type of improvement being done.
The maximum grant you can receive for a home is $5,000. Only homes that have been evaluated using NRCan's residential energy assessment service will be eligible for a grant.
The average grant is expected to yield reductions in energy use of approximately 30 percent and greenhouse gas emission reductions of approximately 4 tonnes per house.
By implementing the energy retrofit recommendations, a typical homeowner could save $700 a year on a $2,000 annual heating bill.
How do I receive the grant money?
Grants are available for work done within 18 months of the date of your initial energy evaluation. Once your upgrades are finished, your energy advisor will return to the home and complete a post-retrofit assessment. The advisor then completes all the paperwork on behalf of the homeowner, gets the homeowner's signature and submits the forms to NRCan. The homeowner should receive a cheque in the mail within 60 days of NRCan receiving the completed application form.
Only homes that have undergone a pre- and post-retrofit energy assessment are eligible for grants.
Just a click away
A year after being launched, the ecoENERGY Retrofit program has seen thousands of Canadians already take part in pre-retrofit assessments. Do your part to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change by making your home more energy efficient today. Additional details about the program are available on the ecoENERGY website.
Reduce your impact on the planet. Check out the following links for hints and ideas on becoming more environmentally friendly.
What You Can Do: Small Changes Make Big Differences
You can make a difference for the environment! Whether you are an individual or already part of a community environmental group, this site is for you. Connect with environmental organizations across the country, find tools, resources, links and information that you can use in your day-to-day life, and in helping with your community environmental group efforts.
Canadian Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse
Environment Canada's online database and comprehensive resource providing Canadians with the information they need to put pollution prevention (P2) into practice. Search the database to access over 1500 different P2 resources organized by sector, activity, substance, audience and P2 type.
Aptitudes is an online training program mainly geared to people working in non-governmental organizations involved in environmental endeavours. The program enables these people to interact with governments and to increase their involvement in the development of government policies, programs and services in environmental matters.
CanadianEnvironmental.com is a free comprehensive resource for environmental professionals and others involved in the management of environmental issues related to industry. The site is a gateway to hundreds of major online sources of environmental information and provides easy access to environmental news, information and legislation, products and services, job listings, calendar of events, discussion forum, a free monthly newsletter and more.
Is about helping us reduce our impact on the environment and bring more harmony and quality to our lives. Simple, inexpensive ideas and practical solutions address a wide range of lifestyle choices we all face each day.
Environmental Choice ProgramM
Canada's ecolabelling program helps Canadians identify products that are safer for the environment. Once a product or service has been certified, it can carry the EcoLogoM three stylized doves in the shape of a maple leaf.
Tools of Change
Offers specific tools, case studies and a planning guide to help you take action and adopt habits that promote health and more environmentally-friendly choices.
- Date Modified: