Federal government continues eco grants for homeownersAugust 19, 2011
Many of you – both individuals and local contractors – have told me that you would like to see an extension of the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes Program. I am pleased to tell you that the federal budget, passed by Parliament in June, extends this popular program for an additional year. I would like to take this opportunity to share the details.
On July 13, the details of the one-year renewal of the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes Program were announced. From June 6, 2011 to March 31, 2012, homeowners can receive home improvement grants of up to $5,000 to make their homes more energy efficient. However, there are two important changes to note. First, homeowners must register directly with the program before booking their pre-retrofit evaluation. Second, homeowners must also provide receipts to their energy advisor at the time of the post-retrofit evaluation to confirm eligibility for the grant.
Homeowners who participated in the previous program can still apply to the new program if they have not yet received the maximum total of $5,000 in grants. Homeowners who participated in the program before April 1, 2011, but did not receive a total of $5,000 in grants can submit another application for home improvements purchased and installed after June 6, 2011.
Owners of multiple properties are eligible to obtain more than one grant. Eligible properties include single detached and attached homes, and small multi-unit residential buildings. New homes are not eligible for grants under the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes Program.
The final deadline to complete retrofits and obtain a post-retrofit evaluation is March 31, 2012.
However, homeowners are encouraged to register soon because the program will close when the $400 million financial limit for the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes Program is reached.
To participate in the program, homeowners must register online at www.ecoaction.gc.ca/home or by calling (800) O CANADA (1-800-622-6232). They must then hire a local service organization to send an energy advisor licensed by Natural Resources Canada. This advisor performs a pre-retrofit evaluation of the home, unless the property has been evaluated since April 2007. All upgrades and the post-retrofit evaluation must be completed and signed before March 31, 2012.
To date, this program has helped over half a million Canadians save an average of 20 percent on their home energy bills. This amounts to over $1 billion in energy savings for Canadian homeowners. It has also helped the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 megatonnes. The renewed program is expected to help an additional 250,000 Canadians in making their homes more energy efficient, and it will generate as much as $4 billion in economic activity across Canada.
This past spring, many of you voiced concerns to me about the rising cost of fuel and energy. This program responds to those concerns by helping Canadian families reduce their energy costs and consumption.