Offering incentive programs to help homeowners cut their energy bills, the Province of Ontario is encouraging energy retrofits and renovations to make homes more energy efficient. The idea is to make it more affordable for the average homeowner to make the kind of changes that will reduce seasonal energy consumption. It begins with a thorough home energy audit, and it continues with energy retrofit work that will make a home significantly more energy efficient. The good news is that cash rebates are now available for both audits and retrofits.
Homeowners who decide to take part in the various programs could qualify for rebates of $2,100 – $5000, money that would be used to offset the cost of the home energy audit itself, as well as the actual energy retrofit – like air sealing, or insulation, or weatherproofing. The truth is, every retrofit will enhance energy efficiency in some way, and will therefore save energy dollars season to season around the year. In collaboration with the province, the programs are made available from both Enbridge Gas and Union Gas throughout the province.
The Ontario government is providing about $100 million in homeowner incentives over a 3-year program period. It all happens through the Green Investment Fund, with the purpose of fighting the negative consequences of global climate change. On a local level, the objective is to reduce greenhouse gases by improving energy efficiency through home renovations/energy retrofits. Through Union Gas or Enbridge Gas, rebate programs are available to homeowners with homes that are heated with oil, natural gas, propane, or wood.
For homeowners throughout the province, this is the ideal time to capitalize on cash rebates. For those who qualify, an initial Home Energy Audit is required to assess the energy efficiency of the home, and to identify weaknesses in the building envelope that can be addressed. Financed by the Green Investment Fund, the Home Energy Audit must be performed by a Service Organization accredited by the province. Audits will accurately identify weaknesses, and will provide relevant data on heat loss, R-Values, and air tightness of the home.
When the energy audit has been completed and areas of improvement identified, home energy experts like Great Northern Insulation can offer retrofit recommendations that suit the need. The GNI team will recommend the retrofits and/or upgrades that offer the best return-on-investment. In fact, there are various energy upgrades that can make a difference, all meeting the provincial rebate guidelines, and all contributing to seasonal energy savings for the homeowner:
- Comprehensive weatherizing, and air sealing of portions of the building envelope
- Increasing the performance level (the R-Value) of insulation throughout the attic
- Installing or enhancing insulation throughout the basement to boost the R-Value
In the near future, most every home in the province will require an Energy Rating, which will be based on specific standards. It will confirm (Label of Proof) the home’s energy efficiency, and will be a level of proof required when selling a home.