Thinking of Greening Your Durham Region Home: New Energy Initiatives Good To Know For Homeowners

942989_sphere_skyGrants are available for homeowners going green. Both the provincial and federal government have programs designed to encourage energy reduction. By staying up-to-date on the latest programs, you can offer clients valuable information that could save them money.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is offering a new residential energy efficiency assessment service to owners of single family homes, including detached, semi-detached and low-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) that are no more than three storeys high. Under the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, property owners can qualify for federal grants by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and reducing their home’s impact on the environment.

How it works
NRCan-certified energy advisors conduct a detailed on-site assessment of the home’s energy use from the attic down to the basement. They provide a personalized report, including a checklist of recommended retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of your home and, in some cases, to reduce water consumption. The report also shows the grant amounts for each eligible upgrade that you can receive by carrying out these energy-saving improvements. The maximum grant you can receive for a home is $5,000.

For instance, if you replace an old natural gas furnace with the most efficient unit available (92% AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency gas furnace with DC variable speed motor) you could qualify for $1,350 in rebates: $500 (Federal) plus $500 (Provincial) plus $100 from Enbridge plus $250 from the Ontario Power Authority (Cool Savings Rebate). According to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, replacing an old system (63% AFUE) with a new high efficiency condensing furnace (93% AFUE) in an average 1,200 square foot, detached house will result in savings of approximately $450 per year.

Because of its high-tech design, a high-efficiency natural gas furnace squeezes the most heat out of every heating dollar. For every dollar you spend on energy, it produces 88 to 97 cents worth of heat. It could save up to 24% in energy and related energy costs and will also help insulate homeowners from increasing energy prices.

The high efficiency furnace and many of the other retrofits eligible for rebates come with a higher price tag, but environmentally conscious homeowners believe the energy cost savings – and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are well worth it. Also, from a resale perspective, many potential homebuyers will view “greener” appliances as a desirable feature.

For more information on the ecoEnergy Retrofit Rebate program visit the following sites:

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