Canadian homeowners can be paid to upgrade

Canadian homeowners can be paid to upgrade

Sep 18 2007

(NC) — Canadian homeowners will be big winners now that the Federal Government has officially launched its ecoENERGY Retrofit initiative, offering financial incentives to Canadians who improve their home’s energy efficiency.
Natural Resources of Canada (NRCan) has licensed AmeriSpec Inspection Services, Canada’s leading home inspection company, to perform residential energy evaluations that identify how homes use energy and where it is being wasted. AmeriSpec evaluators will show homeowners how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce heating and cooling costs and improve comfort in their homes, while ensuring adequate ventilation for a healthy indoor environment.
To take advantage of the program, homeowners first must complete an assessment by a licensed energy evaluator who will determine the home’s current energy rating. The service includes: a detailed energy evaluation of the home, a blower door test to find air leaks, a printed report that shows where energy dollars are being spent, recommendations on what homeowners can do to improve their home’s energy efficiency and an energy efficiency rating label that shows how efficient their home is compared to other homes in their region.
Using the report’s recommendations, homeowners have 18 months to complete upgrades. Grants of up to $5,000 are available based on individual retrofit initiatives. The average grant is expected to be close to $1,100. Homeowners can expect to receive their cheque within 90 days of the follow-up evaluation.
“Many provinces, such as Saskatchewan and Ontario, have recently announced that they will cover a portion of the evaluation cost and/or offer additional grant monies” said Colin Smyth, a business leader for AmeriSpec of Canada.
According to NRCan, once homeowners complete their required energy evaluation and make some or all of the recommended improvements; they can expect federal grants such as:
• Furnace upgrades — up to $600
• Install a heat recovery ventilator — up to $300
• Upgrade your central air conditioner to an Energy Star® unit — $200
• Retrofit doors and/or windows to Energy Star® — $30 for each unit.
Seventeen per cent of all energy used in Canada goes towards running our homes. As many as 140,000 homeowners are expected to benefit from this national and provincial initiative.
“By completing all of the retrofits recommended by an AmeriSpec evaluator, homeowners should be in a position to decrease their average annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 4.6 tonnes per year, per house and they should also be able to also reduce their energy bills by 38 per cent — a huge win for everyone,” Smyth added.
You can book an appointment or get additional information by calling toll-free 1-866-284-6010 or online at — News Canada

Of course this is an Amerispec written artical. Amerispec is one of many organizations licences to deliver the same program.

I think we all have seen this by now:

Some of the auditor training is only 3-4 days to produce an “energy expert”…God, I have worked in the residential field for 31 years from insulating/airsealing/ventilation/inspecting/auditing to training to regulation and continue to learn regularly!!! So think how little they really know.

Recently I have seen recommendations:

(1) to replace an oil-fired heating boiler that I tested at 81+% efficient; the efficiency gain would be in the 3-6% range at a cost of about $3,500…quite a long payback period -17-20+ years…may be time to replace the boiler again then.

(2) Just yesterday- auditor: “should put an insulating blanket on electric domestic water tank”…it was 14 years old and leaking!!! Auditor said it looked quite new!!! Young home owner had asked auditor about dampness under it and was concerned that the concrete blocks it sat on were warm to the touch…any more hints needed???

(3) Use only blue or pink extruded polystyrene board under new siding. What about expanded polystyrene “beadboard” at about 1/2 the cost for approximately 25% reduction in R value. Haven’t they been taught about the “Law of Diminishing Returns” as it applies to insulation? In this case, the return on the extra cost for the higher R board could be 20+ years.

(4) New program is recommending window replacement a way more than the old one. If you have a good wood window with a decent storm window, payback for the new windows will be 20-35+ years…that’s why they only rebate $30 of the $300-$1,000 cost per window…not much incentive but still being recommended??? If you’re going to change the windows anyway, add all the energy features you can (if cost is not too bad) but don’t change windows for energy conservation only and expect big savings.