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3 insulation projects that will get you the most cash back in rebates

August 28, 2023

Want to find out what you can do in 2023 that’ll give you the biggest bang for your home upgrade buck? Here are three ways you can maximize the new HER+ rebate.

If you've been reading our blog, you'll know that the new HER+ program is the newest Ontario rebate program that offers cash back for home efficiency upgrades. But some home improvements will net you a better return than others, and figuring out how to maximize them can differ house by house.

We talked to our friend Chris Barker from ecostep, who is an expert on navigating rebates homeowners can apply for. He recommends the following upgrades to get the most out of the rebate program – and the biggest bang for your buck in terms of home energy efficiency.

1. Insulate your attic

According to Chris, a huge number of attics are under insulated. In fact, a lot of homeowners probably haven't ever been up in their attics and don't know what's up there or what the R value might be (as a reminder, R value is a term for how effective insulation is). It’s important to remember that building codes change over time, so even if your attic was up to code 20 years ago, it may not be now.

For example, in the 1980s, the standard for attics was R20. Today it’s R60. So if your house wasn’t built recently, your attic could probably use a top-up for greater comfort and energy efficiency. And with the HER+ rebate, it will cost a lot less than you think.

“Attic insulation will get you the highest rebate percentage,” says Chris. “When it comes to recouping your costs, the new HER+ program makes insulating your attic very, very affordable. The rebate for it is phenomenal: I’ve been seeing homeowners qualify for 75% back. No other upgrade even comes close.”

If you spend $3,000 insulating your attic, you can get up to $2,350 of it back. These are the numbers Chris has been seeing since the program was introduced in January 2023. With those kinds of returns, you can solve your home comfort problems and lower your energy bills for less than $1,000. That's a huge value – and it doesn't even factor in what you'll save on your utility bills over time.

What's in your attic? Give GNI a call for a free, no-obligation estimate on making your home more comfortable and efficient.

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2. Insulate your basement rim joists

Rim joist insulation is another relatively easy fix that has a big impact on energy efficiency. The rim joist is where floor joists meet a home’s outer wall. These areas often aren't insulated – or if they are, it's not done well. Poor insulation means air gets in, impacting comfort and efficiency. And it can also cause other problems: when cold air from outside meets warm interior air, you get condensation, mold and other problems you definitely don't want in your house.

Chris says that while insulating your rim joists isn't a huge job, it's definitely worth doing. You can get back up to $325 in rebates for an installation.


3. Combine upgrades for a whole-home insulation upgrade

While attics, rim joists, and individual upgrades are the easiest upgrades you can make to get the most back, you can combine services for a whole-home upgrade that stacks rebate returns. It can make an enormous difference. You can also get rebates for air sealing, and upgrading your home's insulation can help you hit air sealing targets and qualify for even more money back. If you’re already in planning a home retrofit renovation, you can add additional services like exterior wall insulation upgrades for more upgrades – with the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program the maximum rebate amount is $10,000, meaning there’s plenty of cash back potential for homeowners planning large retrofit renovations.

Have questions? Talk to your local consultant at Great Northern Insulation, and after a free in-home assessment we can get you in touch with Chris’ team at ecostep – after an energy assessment, he will be able to tell you exactly what rebates you'll qualify for and how to maximize the money you get back for your energy efficiency upgrades.

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