May 28, 2024

Empowered CG

Creating Home Magic

The Government Energy Efficiency Assistance Program

As part of the Ontario government plan to build a cleaner, greener future, the Province is investing millions of dollars over four years to help homeowners save money by installing energy saving features. A welcome byproduct of this program is that these measures help fight climate change. As a result, everyone benefits: the homeowners save money and in the process we are helping to reduce greenhouse gases.

Energy Audit

The amount of assistance that the provincial government will provide to homeowners toward a home energy audit is $150. By having the energy audit, the homeowners can find out how to improve energy efficiency in their homes for things such as loss of heat from the rooms, cooling, hot water and insulation around the house. On average, the homeowners have realized annual savings of about $1,200. The reduction in greenhouse emissions that was achieved by adopting the recommendations made in the audit, amount to 1-2 tonnes – per house!!

Who is Eligible for the Ontario Home Energy Audit Program (HEAP)

Any resident of Ontario who owns a single family home is eligible for the program. The HEAP will provide a rebate of 50{7fcbeda410c9f02a886f83a59a5af911565ec7141a170d397df667872a958d9e} of the cost of the pre-retrofit audit; the limit per household is $150. The audit is conducted before any renovations commence to improve home energy conservation.

How the Home Energy Audit Program works.

1. The homeowner selects an auditor for a pre-retrofit audit. The cost of this first audit is approximately $300. The energy auditors are licensed by Natural Resources Canada. You can find an auditor through your utility company, the contractor who will do the repairs such as install a new furnace. Natural Resources Canada provides a list of home energy auditors in your area; it can be found on the NRC website.

2. The auditor carries out the pre-retrofit audit – it lasts 1-2 hours. The homeowner is provided with a comprehensive written report listing recommendations on energy efficiency improvements.

3.Once the auditor completes the initial audit, a notice is sent to the provincial Home Energy Audit Program which issues the $150 rebate cheque.

$5,000 is the maximum grant

… home owners can receive toward the cost of installation of equipment or home insulation.

Is there any ‘catch’ or drawback to the program?

None that we can see other that it ends relatively soon – March 31, 2011.

Here is the list of Improvements and retrofits

that help reduce the energy consumption in your home and qualify for the grant:

A. Home systems: Heating, ventilation, cooling.
B. Insulation – attic, exterior, basement, crawl space.
C. Water: Hot water heater, water conservation
D. Air Sealing: doors, windows, skylights.

After the energy upgrades are completed, the auditor will once again inspect your home and provide the owner with a post-retrofit evaluation. The new energy efficiency rating that the home receives shows the improved energy use. From that rating the amount of annual savings from more efficient energy use can be calculated.

No Obligation to Proceed.

The home owner should not worry that once he invites an energy auditor to his home, he is obligated to proceed with a retrofit of some sort to receive the Ontario pre-retrofit audit rebate. He will simply receive the Report that contains recommendations on energy efficiency improvements. After that he can decide whether to proceed with an upgrade or retrofit. At the very least he will have peace of mind knowing how energy efficient his home is and what upgrades, if any, will have to be made in the future.