With today’s skyrocketing housing prices, many home owners are turning to home renovations to achieve their dream home and increase their property value. I’ve spoken in the past about the benefits of why it pays to be energy-efficient, how to achieve it, as well as how energy-saving technology works on upgrades such as your windows and doors.
But how about being proactive and actually investing in the energy-saving upgrades you need to help you save for the long-term?
With the extreme weather temperatures in Canada, home owners have to be vigilant about the types of materials they use to surround and protect their homes from accelerated wear and tear. Fortunately, for Canadians, the government provides many incentives and rebates for home owners to turn their energy-draining homes to a lean, green one.
As a Stouffville-operating business, we certainly appreciate the lush green landscapes that surround our town and try to implement green, sustainable practices in our office and at all of our job sites when possible. Below are some initiatives we’ve found helpful for our customers and us that are good for the environment and our wallets.
CMHC Premium Refund
If you are considering energy-efficient upgrades, you should consider financing through CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) insured financing, as you may qualify for a refund of up to 10% on your CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium and a premium refund if the loan is for a longer amortization period.
The first thing you should do is contact your financial institution for advice on CMHC insured refinancing. If all goes well, you’ll have to contact an NRCan (Natural Resource Canada) energy advisor to have your home assessed for an energy rating. Your advisor will provide you with a list of recommendations for renovations and upgrades to improve your energy rating. Once your renovations are completed, the NRCan energy advisor will reassess your home, and if your overall energy rating is at 40 points or over and has increased by at least 5 points, you can apply for the premium refund. Applications are available online or through a PDF application.
Heating and Cooling Incentive
Did you know that on average, 60% of a home’s energy consumptions is from the heating and cooling? This may be why the Heating and Cooling Incentive program was introduced to help consumers save money on energy-consuming furnaces and air conditioning units. Through this program, you could be eligible for up to $650 in incentives.
There are some basic requirements you have to fulfill in order to be considered eligible, which include being over the age of 18 years old, the owner or renter of the existing furnace or air conditioning unit to be replaced, and if you are a tenant, you must have written consent of the owner to carry out the incentive.
Details on this incentive, tips and how to find a contractor can be found here on the Save On Energy website.
As Ontarians, we’re fortunate that the peaksaver PLUS is available in our province and is free to register. To enrol, you simply need to contact your local utility provider and from there a technician will schedule a date to install the peaksaver PLUS device, which will help you monitor and reduce energy output from your air conditioning unit, water heater pump or pool pump. More information on this program can be found here.
Enbridge Gas Distribution – Home Energy Conversation Program
Enbridge is currently offering the Home Energy Conservation Program, which provides up to $2,000 in incentives and lasts until December 31, 2015. To qualify, you must be an Enbridge customer and home owner in York Region, the GTA, Durham, Niagara or Ottawa region.
The program consists of an energy audit, renovation and upgrades such as window replacements and finally a post-retro fit energy audit to determine how much your incentive will be.
Toronto Hydro’s new program, the New Home Construction initiative provides builders and home owners incentives to install energy-efficient appliances in their homes. Incentives are categorized as Prescriptive, Performance-Based or Custom Measures, and depending on which incentive you choose, you could save up $1,000 in incentives.
HydroOne and Independent Electricity Operator (IESO)
HydroOne and the Independent Electricity System Operator provides a number of save energy rebates for ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, CFLs, lighting fixtures, timers, power bars and ceiling fans. Through HydroOne, businesses can save up to $1,500 in free lighting upgrades and save half the cost on an energy audit. Home owners can potentially save $250 and $400 when purchasing high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners.
IESO offers additional rebates on non-ENERGY star products such as weather-stripping, programmable thermostats and power bars on their website.
Most financial institutions offer incentives and rebates that are similar to the ones mentioned above. Don’t hesitate to use them as a guide, as I have found that they are often more than willing to share information on financing renovations and upgrades, and additional incentives.
Ready to Start Saving?
As you can see, there are many energy-efficient incentives available to help you accomplish your ideal home renovations, while saving for even more upgrades and renovations in the future. These are just a select handful of incentives and rebates that I’ve come across, are there are any incentives I missed that you think should’ve been included? Or are you pumped to take advantage of some of the incentives and finally getting some much needed home upgrades?
Don’t forget to leave me a message below and let me know how you’re on your way to turning your home and your wallet green!