They're baaack - eco energy grants add incentive to make household upgrades
It was pretty much a no-brainer that the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit program would be reinstated in the last budget. Why not continue a plan that’s good for the environment, and the economy?
Naturally, that's being applauded by manufacturers such as Owens Cornings, who make EcoTouch Pink Insulation batts and AttiCat expanding blown-in insulation system and Roxul, which makes stone wool batt insulation (shown above).
According to Owens Corning, an attic insulated to the recommended standard of R-50 will save a half-ton of greenhouse gas emissions annually. It will also make your home more comfortable.
Insulation is just one route to a more energy efficient home. If you want a larger plan, consider having an energy audit done by an organization such as GreenSaver, Ontario’s oldest not-for-profit provider of energy audits and services.
What does a home energy audit entail? To get the full story, go to GreenSaver’s website. Basically, it’s a review of your home’s energy efficiency — inside and out — and includes a “blower test” to measure air leakage. After the review, you get a report detailing suggested improvements and after they’re made, GreenSaver comes back to measure your efficiency gains. That document can be used to apply for various grant programs.
For more information on government grants and rebates for home improvements, as well as how-to guides for making your home more environmentally-friendly, go to Show Me the Green.
If it’s cooling you’re looking at (and who isn’t during this blast of heat), you might consider whether a ductless system, such as that made by Daikin, would work for you. Many models qualify for eco-retrofit grants, information about which can be found at Natural Resources Canada.
If I had extra money sitting around (dang! why did my 1992 Mercury Sable have to die this summer, forcing me to buy a new car?), I think I’d invest in venting skylight window or a roof window (shown below) from Velux. (I already have one of their sun tunnels, which has become one of my fave features of my house). If I did, I bet I could pretty much turn off the central AC (which I only use on the hottest of the hot days) as opening a skylight allows hot air to escape. I've been told that some models qualify when they are used to replace inefficient skylights and that each reno that includes an Energy Star skylight is eligible for $40 per skylight. The company’s solar water heaters, which save CO2 from the atmosphere and can lower water bills by up to 60 per cent, would also qualify.
Best to get moving on all this, though. The grant program will close by March 2102, or when the $400 million runs out, whichever comes first.