GreenUP energy program incentives can save you money!
April 4th, 2018
By Karen Halley, GreenUP Communications & Marketing Specialist
At your next neighbourhood gathering, chances are, if you ask homeowners whether they have ever received incentives for participating in energy conservation programs, about half of the group’s hands will go up.
Over the past 25 years, GreenUP has conducted energy audits for more than 40% of the homes in the Peterborough area. During that time period, the incentives have changed and the programs have evolved but the goal is still the same: to help our community reduce their environmental footprint, reduce their energy consumption, save money, and live more comfortably.
Currently, GreenUP provides audit services for two energy incentive programs available for local homeowners: the Enbridge Gas Home Energy Conservation Program and the Union Gas Home Reno Rebate Program. Both programs offer the exact same rebates and you don’t need to be a gas customer to access the incentives. The program you are eligible for simply depends on the natural gas provider in the area that you live in. For Peterborough residents, this will be Enbridge Gas and for those living closer to Cobourg and Port Hope, your provider is Union Gas.
If you are thinking about replacing your furnace, putting in new windows, insulating your home, or upgrading your appliances, and even if you have received incentives with the past programs, GreenUP may be able to help you get money back on new home improvements! You could receive up to $5,000 back in available incentives for making your home more energy efficient, including 100% of the costs associated with your energy audits, not including the HST.
The first step to seeing if you qualify is to give GreenUP a call at 705-745-3238. GreenUP has a Registered Energy Advisor (REA) on staff. We will take the time to pre-qualify you over the phone, or refer you to the program that best fits your needs.
Be sure to call before you install any upgrades. This is important because our REA will come to your home to conduct a pre-audit evaluation to assess your home’s current energy use. This will provide crucial baseline data that will be used to provide recommendations for improvements or retrofits that help to reduce your energy bills and to assign your home an energy rating using the EnerGuide home evaluation.
Once you have completed the installation of the two upgrades necessary to access the incentives, the REA will return to complete a post-audit. This allows you to compare your home’s new improved energy efficiency with your pre-audit. Your REA will then submit your results to the gas company and you will receive your incentive cheque within eight to twelve weeks.
At this time, you will also receive the rebate of $600 to cover the cost of your pre- and post-audits, both of which provide you with an incredible amount of data about your home.
For example, with the pre-audit, you will receive an energy assessment report that contains data about the home’s existing insulation, mechanical equipment, and air leakage as collected and analysed by the REA.
You will also receive a Homeowner Information Sheet that reports the details about where energy is being used, and lost, throughout the home’s mechanical equipment and building envelope.
“We live in an old house that has been expensive to heat, partly because of air infiltration that cooled the house in winter,” shares Al Slavin, who had pre- and post-audits conducted in 2011. “During the blower door test a large fan was attached to the outside door, drawing air into the house. When we stood in our kitchen, it felt like a fan was blowing air down from the ceiling where our pot lights were installed – turns out, the pot lights weren’t sealed in the attic and were open to the outside air!”
A pre-audit blower door test alerts a homeowner to potential ventilation issues and pinpoints areas of air leakage allowing you to address these problem areas when considering your energy efficiency.
“For one of our upgrades, we had seals installed in the attic around the base of our kitchen pot lights and the post-audit showed that the source of air infiltration totally disappeared,” explains Slavin, “We never would have caught that leak, or many others, such as around our baseboards, without the energy audits.”
The program requires a minimum of two energy efficiency upgrades to qualify, however, additional measures will result in deeper energy savings. Customers who complete more than two upgrades also qualify for a $250 bonus for each additional upgrade installed, to a maximum of $750
Your house will also receive an EnerGuide label that shows the home’s new energy-use rating. This is a great feature that is useful if you ever want to sell your home. For more information about EnerGuide home evaluations and EnerGuide label visit www.nrcan.gc.ca
For more details about the specifics on incentives, qualifying upgrades, and program requirements, please visit greenup.on.ca. To pre-qualify for an audit, call Kristen LaRocque at the GreenUP Store at 705-745-3238 ext. 222.
Depending on where you live, your household income, and how you heat your home, you may be eligible for other incentives. There are other energy efficiency program incentives available in the community, based on these different criteria.
The Enbridge Gas Home Winterproofing program is available to fixed income households and renters through The Windfall Ecology Centre at 1-866-280-4431. A similar program, The Home Weatherization program, is available for Union Gas customers. Visit uniongas.com for more information.
Habitat for Humanity Peterborough provides grants and loans to low income homeowners for upgrades and repairs. Call 705-750-1456 for details.
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