September 18th, 2013
The energy audit program ended in Ontario over a year ago but it’s important to remember that a good portion of its job was to help newer energy efficient technologies get a foothold in an inefficient market.
Case and Point
Tankless water heaters – A relatively new technology that can provide all of your homes hot water on demand. With a tankless there is no need to maintain 40 or 50 gallons of water hot 24 hours a day 7 days a week. CMHC studied these systems and determined that on average Ontario home owners that employ a tankless will reduce water heater energy consumption by 46%.
The ecoEnergy program offered grants of 375$ for homeowners that upgraded to a tankless. This help to offset some of the additional money a tankless system cost and many people decided take advantage of this offer while available. The interesting this is that tankless technology has only improved since the program ended yet prices for an installed system have continued to decline.
For example – We inquired with GoTankless.ca a local Toronto tankless installer and they told us their cost for a system has dropped by roughly $750- $950 for a tankless compared to a few years ago. They said they were able to pass those savings on to the customer. A fully installed tankless can now be sold for less than $2500 where they could easily hit the $3600-$4000 range just a few years ago.
Tankless water heaters have now got a strong foothold in the Ontario marketplace and the past incentives helped the systems gain traction and employ economies of scale needed to reduce prices and add competition.
Interested in a tankless?
Both tankless companies we talked to in Toronto offer FREE quotes and information pertaining to water heaters. Check out their websites below.
September 18th, 2013
Some of the remnants of the ecoEnergy program are the efficiency increases companies focused on to access grants and rebates for their customers.
How can this help?
Well furnace and heating companies had to move their focus into high efficiency systems which enabled access to grants and rebates of up to $790. This sparked a bit of a revolution as many homeowners noticed the significant savings a 97% efficient furnace had on heating bills during the winter. More and more people transitioned away from the mid-efficient systems and over to the high efficiency furnaces.
When we talked to GTAFurnace.ca and asked them about the past few years compared to the year when the the ecoEnergy program was running they said there was a big difference. They noted a few differences in the market today. Homeowners have benefited from the from the increased competition in the furnace heating market as companies drop their prices attempting to stay competitive. In fact they said that due to the highly competitive market now is a great time to upgrade your furnace if you have any inclination. Also the program incentives really pushed for efficiency and thus most of what is installed even to this day are really high efficiency furnaces, the rebates helped to push costs down as the new technologies emerged. Homeowners today have the ecoEnergy program to thank for reduced costs.
High Efficiency Furnace Prices
Interested in heating or a new furnace for your home? GTAFurnace offers free quotes with optional financing, rental, and purchasing options. Visit the site for pricing.
January 31st, 2012
Surprise!! the Government closed the energy audit program early again. We all owe a big thanks to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver as the popular energy audit program closed due to him on Sunday January 29th 2012.
In total the Harper Government invested less than half of the 400 million they promised in the election and the recent budget. I guess this should have been expected with the pro oil and gas leaders we currently have. I mean, why would you invest in efficiency when you get paid way more for inefficiency?
The energy audit program was initially closed due to its popularity and the funding was running low. The program was re-opened and was injected with 400 million in funding but again the Government cited that 250,000 home owners had signed up suggesting that this was enough to close the program early.
Details of the Energy Audit Program Closure
- The program is completely closed to new entrants
- If you have had your first audit then you are still able to complete your upgrades, have a final audit, and collect your grant money.
- Homeowners can receive post-retrofit evaluations and apply for grants until June 30, 2012; the retrofit renovations must be completed by March 31.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled, hopefully the energy audit program closed will again be funded and open up again. If you’re upset you can visit this site and actually send a letter over to the Government to voice your opinion on the subject.
January 26th, 2012
Here is an energy audit checklist so once you have booked your audit you can review.
If this is your homes first ecoenergy evaluation you should follow this energy audit checklist, you should expect about 2-3 hours for the auditor to correctly go through and preform the audit. There is a lot of measurements and information that needs to be recorded by the auditor and this takes time.
Energy Audit Checklist
- Assume about half a day for an energy audit
- If you have a fireplace, it needs to be clean (no ashes) vacuum it before the appointment
- Try to have pets out of the house
- Be inquisitive and ask the auditor questions
- Have your tax roll number available
Whats up with #3 on this check list? Well the energy auditor will be reforming a blower door test on your house, this will raise the pressure in your home just slightly to test air leakage. This doesn’t pose any problems or dangers to your pets but setting up the blower door does offer a chance for a great escape.
If you have already had your first audit, you should know that there is a different, shorter, audit checklist for these appointments.
Second Audit Checklist
- Time preparation – I would leave room for about an hour and a half but it could be much shorter
- Payment method available
There isn’t much to the second energy audit and the representative should be completed in as little as 30 minutes. There will not be a blower door test so your pets wont have a chance to escape. Once the information has been recorded the auditor will submit the final file to the Government and once they verify it your rebate cheque will be in the mail.
January 25th, 2012
Energy Audit Cost
The deadline for the energy audit program is fast approaching, and your thinking of getting one. How much will an energy audit cost?
Firstly an energy audit can cost different amounts for different provinces. In general thought, the first audit will cost between $325 and $375 depending on the service organization, so it pays to shop around (although we are very price competitive–see our cost). If your in Ontario and looking for an audit you can expect $150 of that initial price to be sent back to you in the form of a rebate from the Government.
If your looking to change out a furnace, a water heater, an air conditioner, or add insulation then you will get a rebate back. If you are thinking of doing multiple upgrades then you will get an even bigger rebate cheque. The more you upgrade on your home the larger the rebate will be. In most cases the total energy audit cost will be more than offset by the rebated garnered from the upgrades.
I would think that this late into the program (not that its too late to start) most people will be looking for a final audit. What will a final energy audit cost? This final audit is much faster than the first and it there to simply confirm that the changes you have made have produced the desired outcome. You should expect to pay around $175 and $200 as the cost for this final audit.
Your audit can be done by any service organization as they all have access to the files via the Government. So don’t be afraid to shop around and see how cheap an energy audit can be.
Check out our prices here.
January 12th, 2012
Some retrofits that qualify for ecoEnergy rebates are easy, if I preform these upgrades can I still apply for the grants?
You sure can! If you’re handy and feel you can preform the upgrades, then by all means. When the energy advisor returns he needs to ensure that any upgrades were installed properly and that you upgraded what you have claimed.
The benefit of the ecoENERGY qualified retrofits is that you the home owner will benefit not only from the initial grants, but also from lower energy bills, which can be substantially reduced up to 40%, according to NRCan. These green renovations can also create a healthier home environment for you and your family. The best part, greener homes are looked more favorably in the real estate market, which, can fetch you a selling premium.
If you have the ability here is a short and Rebate Value of household items that bring in Government Rebates.
Don’t forget to get ANY Government Rebates you need to get an Energy Audit FIRST!!
January 11th, 2012
Ontario home owners can get $5000 in rebates back from the Government whereas other Provinces can get much more.
- Living in Saskatchewan? you can receive up to $10,000 in rebates and grants.
- Living in British Columbia? You are able to get $12,000 in rebates and grants.
- Living in Ontario? $5000 is the most you can receive currently.
Why is there such a discrepancy between Provinces? Well it’s a matter convoluted by the Provincial Governments who match, improve, or decline to invest at all. Currently the Federal Government kicks in up to $5000 to all Canadians for ecoEnergy audit upgrades.
Ontario… that’s all you get, $5000 towards home improvements and home efficiency.
Saskatchewan and British Columbia… you get even more as the Provincial Government will match and even beat what the Federal Government is offering. Take advantage while the audit program is still available.
Book an Audit in BC, Saskatchewan, and Ontario
January 6th, 2012
There is a possibility that the era of iconic Canadian log homes is coming to an end with modern building codes.
The Canadian government is pushing for greater efficiency standards and this puts log homes right in the sights. A log home is literally built with logs and this just cant compete with new synthetic and technology enhanced modern walls. The standard (energy thermal conductivity) is measured with an R-Value and logs really score low on the scale.
The alarm is not sounding for all, as some are suggesting that a weak wall score can be offset by other factors that increase home efficiency and overall rating.
Living in Ontario? well the Government here has allowed a log wall exception that offsets its inefficiency by increasing ceiling insulation (an avenue where most of a homes heat escapes).
The energuide stipulates that new homes need to meet or exceed 77 on its efficiency scale. There are talks of this number being increased to 80 as the minimum. Log homes are normally constructed below this threshold, but with a little preparation and understanding they can be much more efficient.
Are you interested in seeing where your home sits on the energuide scale? An energy audit will test, rank, and place your home on the standardized scale. This will give you a thorough understanding of where you can make the best gains for the least cost. Read more about an Audit
Do note that there are no laws that say a pre-constructed home has to meet or reach any level, it simply gives you a baseline to see where your home ranks. The Government hopes that you will take the initiative to increase its efficiency yourself…. Realistically you’re the one paying the heating and cooling bills.