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Clearing Up the Confusion Around Home Energy Rebate Programs

July 24, 2018

With so much focus on home energy rebate programs, it can be hard to figure out which rebate program is best for you, and which offers the best return. As a homeowner, Ontario’s home energy rebate programs can be financially beneficial. The incentives are a motivation to make upgrades that might not otherwise be undertaken.

For many, rebates offset the cost of home energy upgrades or retrofits dramatically. Working with professionals like Great Northern Insulation also has benefits. Our team of home energy experts can help to determine which of the rebate programs is the best fit, and how to qualify. GNI also offers a FREE in-home energy assessment.

Understanding Ontario’s home energy rebate programs

The Home Reno Rebate Program from Union Gas

Essentially, the HRRP from Union Gas is designed to offset the cost of installing home insulation. Making your home more energy efficient (with improved insulation) provides long-term savings on both heating and cooling costs. Through the year, this makes a big difference on the budget.

With Union Gas, “energy smart upgrades" can qualify for rebates of up to $5,000. The property owner must work alongside a Registered Energy Advisor, who expedites an initial Energy Audit, followed by recommendations for upgrades that will measurably enhance energy efficiency.

After completing two energy upgrades listed by Union Gas, the Energy Advisor will perform another Energy Audit to assess the improvements made. Audit results and paperwork are then submitted to Union Gas, with a rebate cheque sent within 60 days (to the property owner).

To qualify for the HRRP from Union Gas, applicants must be heating their home with oil, gas, electricity, or propane. All of the upgrades must be contracted to a professional energy contractor like Great Northern Insulation.

The Home Energy Conservation Program from Enbridge Gas

The Home Energy Conservation Program from Enbridge Gas is all about improving home energy efficiency, lowering year-round utility bills, and reducing negative environmental impact. Again, property owners must work alongside a Registered Energy Advisor before making any upgrades.

With the HEC Program, a participating Registered Service Organization must conduct two energy audits– one before any upgrades are made and one after upgrades. In terms of specific upgrades, the property owner must complete at least two from a list that is prescribed by Enbridge Gas to be eligible for incentives of up to $5000

The Energy Advisor will help to identify cost-effective upgrades and/or retrofits that will deliver the best return-on-investment. This will set the stage for relevant work to be done - in the attic, in the basement, in crawl spaces, or in exterior walls. Air sealing is also considered a relevant upgrade.

To participate in the Enbridge Gas HEC Program, applicants must live in either a detached home, a semi-detached home, or a row townhouse. In addition, the property must be heated by gas, oil, propane, electricity, or wood. The property must be located in an Enbridge Gas “delivery area”.

The Green Home Refund from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The Green Home Refund from CMHC offers up to 25% in premium refunds. To qualify, you must buy, build, or renovate a property – and you must finance through CMHC. Essentially, the refund is designed to promote home energy efficiency, but it also makes energy upgrades affordable.

An energy-efficient home consumes less energy and therefore enjoys lower utility bills from season to season. The CMHC Green Home Refund is calculated as a proportion of the mortgage insurance premium. Homes must be built or renovated based on specific building standards.

To be eligible for this program, property owners must contract an Energy Advisor to provide an EnerGuide Rating. A Registered Energy Advisor (accredited by NRCan) must assess the property. The property must be assessed before any energy upgrade work and when the work is complete.

In Canada, Energy Advisors use the EnerGuide Rating System (from Natural Resources Canada) when assessing a property. The assessed rating expresses the energy performance of the home. Finally, NRCan simulation software allows for energy upgrade option to be recommended.

Deciding which of the home energy rebate programs is best

Beyond understanding each of the home energy rebate programs, it’s important to understand which of the home energy rebate programs will offer the best outcomes. As a leader in the home energy industry, Great Northern Insulation has the experience and expertise to recommend the best upgrades and/or retrofits based on property needs.

Once the Registered Energy Advisor has completed a pre-renovation energy audit, the team at GNI can suggest the best improvements to undertake. GNI will offer up cost-effective upgrades, with long-term benefits, and with the best return-on-investment. Better still, GNI recommends which home energy rebate will be the most rewarding.

Home energy upgrades, regardless of scope, will improve energy efficiency noticeably. And with energy performance improved, homeowners save money on winter heating and summer cooling. The benefit of rebate programs is to offset the cost of energy upgrades, thus allowing property owners to undertake work that might be over budget.

Working with the professionals at Great Northern Insulation

Great Northern Insulation has been working with home energy rebate programs in Ontario since their inception. For property owners, improving energy efficiency can easily save 20% on heating and cooling costs. And year after year, those savings can add up to substantial savings.

For the team at Great Northern Insulation, every energy efficiency upgrade makes a difference. Today, with so many rebates available, it’s the perfect time to benefit from the incentives. In fact, energy upgrades provide much better benefits than run-of-the-mill aesthetic renovations.

To find out more about current home energy rebate programs, call the experts at Great Northern Insulation directly at 1.800.265.1914 or fill out a contact form on our website. We can help you with eligibility requirements. We can recommend the best upgrades for the money. And we can do all of the work. Get things started now by asking about or our FREE in home assessment.

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