GreenON Rebate: Rebate Rumble
February 08, 2018
Union Gas Home Reno Rebate Program versus GreenON Rebates Program
The GreenON Rebates Program officially launched in December of 2017, but many of you may already be familiar with the Union Gas Home Reno Rebate program (“HRR Program”). With two similar rebate programs now available, the question is, how do they stack up against – or with – each other? Also, what are the differences between the two, and ultimately, which is right for you?
We’re here to answer these questions for you, and sort out the basics for each of the programs in terms of insulation. With that in mind, we do touch on other scopes of work available in the HRR Program.
Where are these rebates coming from?
There has been a major push in the last several years to lower the carbon footprint of Canadians – starting with the home. Luckily, this means incentives for homeowners and landlords to make environmentally-friendly upgrades. These include energy-efficient appliances, better insulation, high-efficiency windows, and more. However, these incentives are not just good for the environment. They also lead to more comfortable homes, money saved by using less energy, and more affordable upgrades through rebates.
The HRR Program is offered by Union Gas in partnership with Save on Energy and the Government of Ontario. The HRR Program has been one of the largest and well-known home renovation programs used by Ontarians in the Union Gas Program area. It offers up to $5,000 in rebates, and covers most of the energy-related upgrades in your home. The GreenON Rebates Program is just jumping into the ring and getting a lot reaction with rebates of up to $7,200 for insulation. The GreenON Rebates Program is offered to all Ontarians by the Green Ontario Fund, in partnership with Save on Energy, with proceeds coming from Ontario’s carbon market.
GreenON Rebates Program
The immediate difference you’ll notice is that it offers up to $7,200 for insulation and an extra $100 for air sealing. At first glance, this may seem like a significant difference, but there is more than money involved when considering which rebate program you should choose. There is also R-Value, which is the measurement of resistance to heat flow through the insulation. The GreenON Rebates Program typically requires higher R-Values to be achieved. This requires more insulation to be added, and possibly more renovations to be done depending on where the insulation is being added (ie. In the case of exterior walls, you will need to remove the drywall). If you are already doing major renovations, or adding only attic insulation, the high R-Values can help you achieve maximum comfort. Adding insulation to the walls of an unfinished basement is also an excellent choice because it does not require any renovations.
The second difference is how rebates are categorized in the GreenON Rebates Program. There are insulation, windows, air-source heat pumps, and geothermal systems, each with their own rebate caps. There are fewer scopes available for rebates overall, and they do not cover appliances. This can make it easier to understand and calculate your rebates, but you will have fewer options when it comes to upgrades.
Finally, the third, less obvious difference is that the process to qualify for and claim the rebates are different, requiring pre- and post-pictures measuring the insulation, along with information about the house, and the work being done. There is no formal energy assessment performed. The GreenON Rebates Program does not offer any rebates for energy assessments, which means that you miss out on getting a detailed report of how your home uses energy and where upgrades are needed most. If your home uses aspirated or fuel fired appliances, such as a vented water heater, an energy assessment also helps you determine if there is combustion spillage– something you want to avoid in your home.
Ultimately, the GreenON Rebates Program is perfect if you are planning to add a lot of insulation because of its high incentives. However, the lack of an energy assessment should be considered when making your final decision on which rebate program to use. You can still pay for an energy advisor to perform an assessment, or utilize both the GreenON Rebates Program and HRR Program by following the path described below.
*Remember that you must use a participating contractor in the GreenON Rebates Program offered by the Green Ontario Fund — an agency of the Government of Ontario – such as Great Northern Insulation.
Union Gas Home Reno Rebate Program
The HRR Program offers up to $5,000 in rebates, and covers a broader range of upgrades, but you are required to complete at least two of the upgrades to be eligible. The most important difference to mention is that the HRR Program is only available to homeowners living in the Union Gas program area. The second difference that you will notice is that the HRR Program has multiple rebate amounts available for varying R-Values achieved. This allows you to be more flexible in the insulation and path chosen. The less-invasive drill-and-fill is one example of when the HRR Program is more viable than the GreenON Rebates Program because it allows you to easily fill the wall cavities without removing the drywall.
The third difference is that you are required to have pre- and post-energy assessments performed. The assessments must be performed by a participating energy advisor – all of which are registered by Natural Resources Canada. The results of the initial assessment will help you determine what other upgrades will help you save money and energy. All of this information will be available on your EnerGuide label. After the final assessment, you will be provided with a second EnerGuide label with your final results. EnerGuide labels are invaluable to you if plan to sell your home after 2019 due to the Home Energy Rating and Disclosure.
Finally, the fourth difference is in the number of rebates available through the HRR Program. It extends well beyond insulation, providing rebates for furnaces and boilers, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, window air conditioners, clothes washers, and of course, energy assessments. You must use at least two rebates, excluding the energy assessments, so meeting this requirement gets easier with an abundance of options to choose from.
Ultimately, the HRR Program is perfect if you are planning to make several upgrades to your home beyond insulation. It is also perfect if you plan to upgrade your exterior wall insulation but are not doing major renovations (keep in mind that you must still complete one other upgrade to be eligible). The addition of the pre- and post-energy assessments also makes the HRR Program attractive if you are planning to sell your home, or want to know how your home is performing.
Union Gas Home Reno Rebate Program / GreenON Rebates Program
The table below shows you a comparison of the two programs in terms of insulation. Both programs extend beyond just insulation, so make sure to speak with the contractors and energy advisor you choose to work with about your goals. We will always work with you to get you the best value.
GreenON Rebates Program
Union Gas Home Reno Rebate
The home must be:
Homeowners and Landlords
Renters (with landlord permission)
Renters (with landlord permission)
Up to $7,200
Up to $5,000
$100 (in addition to the $7,200)
Up to $150 (included in the $5,000)
Pre- and post-energy assessments
(up to $600 is rebated)
The following are in addition to the insulation rebate:
The following are included in the $5,000:
A likely scenario is that you have already used the HRR Program because it has been in existence for some time. If you have, you can use the GreenON Rebates Program for the measures you did not already use. As an example, if you insulated your attic and walls with the HRR Program, you can still insulate your basement with GreenON.
As mentioned, one advantage that the HRR Program has over the GreenON Rebates Program is the additional rebates for two energy assessments. If you are planning to sell your home, or want to know how to further improve your home’s energy efficiency, an energy assessment is something you definitely want – especially considering Home Energy Rating and Disclosure coming into effect in 2019. The EnerGuide label provided after the assessments break down how much energy your home is using, and where it is going.
The approach that we recommend is using the HRR program for mechanicals (furnace and water heater, etc.), and the GreenON Rebates Program for insulation. This gets you the most out of both rebate programs because you are only using the GreenON Rebates Program for insulation (possibly a full $7,200) and using the HRR program for everything but the insulation rebates. Plus, it gets you a free energy assessment – and EnerGuide label – after all is said and done. Although this requires a larger down payment, this approach truly gets you the best of both worlds and has the largest payoff.
Great Northern Insulation – There for you in either corner
Regardless of which rebate program you choose, Great Northern Insulation can help you every step of the way. In fact, we take care of the majority of the tasks that you are typically relied on to complete, such as before and after photos of work done. This is it to make sure that you are the most comfortable in your home, starting with peace of mind the first time you call GNI. Plus, Great Northern Insulation is a participating contractor in the GreenON Rebates Program offered by the Green Ontario Fund—an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Lastly, we can help you take complete advantage of either program with FinanceIt. You can apply quickly and easily online before we step foot into your home for your free, no-obligation assessment. You will be pre-approved for an amount you know you can work with. Plus, you can pay the remainder of your account at any time – which means you can pay off a remaining balance as soon as you receive your rebates. Ready to get started? Contact us today!