Sorry I can not find where the person was asking about the Canadian retrofit information . This is in the Saturday Star .
January 27, 2007
Real Estate Reporter
The Ontario housing industry is lauding the federal government plan to invest $300 million to make homes and businesses more energy efficient.
“It’s certainly good for the industry because it will keep some of the renovators hopping. From a societal point of view, it’s a benefit,” said Brian Johnston, president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, which represents builders and renovators of homes.
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn made the announcement at the Metro Home Show last Sunday. The plan calls for money to be spent over four years. Individual grants that will average more than $1,000 will be made available to homeowners in the form of grants for energy-efficient retrofits of older homes.
Monies will also be made available to encourage the construction of more energy-efficient new homes.
Stephen Dupuis, vice-president of the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association — Urban Development Institute, says it’s important that the announcement primarily focuses on Canada’s existing housing stock, which accounts for a total of 13 million homes.
The amount of energy that’s “going out the back door is huge,” he says, noting that updates in the building code require newer homes to be more energy efficient.
But Mark Winfield, a director with the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, said the Conservative government has done a poor job of rebranding a program that existed under the previous Liberal government.
“Basically it looks like a repackaging of the original EnerGuide for Homes program cancelled last year, but without the elements targeted at low-income households, and also a higher upfront cost in terms of removing the subsidy for the original (energy) audit,” he charged.
For homeowners to qualify for retrofit grants, they must first get an energy audit done on their homes. Under the former Liberal government’s EnerGuide program, the cost of that audit was subsidized.
“The removal of the upfront subsidy for the baseline audit will probably adversely affect program uptake as it means the cost will be in the $500 range, which may be enough for most people to hesitate. At $200 it was quite accessible,” Winfield says.
Another industry insider questioned the Conservative government creating the new program, which is officially called the "ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative. “The only real change is the name and it is abysmal. I can’t even remember the full thing. Rebranding is a colossal waste of money,” he charged.
“All in all I give the thing a
C' for program improvement and anF’ for partisan stupidity,” he added.