Does your furnace need fixing? Looking to overhaul your water heater? You may be eligible for a rebate on environmentally-friendly upgrades.
Under the Ontario retrofit program, homeowners can get cash rebates for choosing energy-efficient fixtures and appliances. The program is available to Enbridge and Union Gas customers who heat their homes with oil, propane, wood, or natural gas.
Here’s how you can get in on the Ontario retrofit program.
How It Works
First, get your home evaluated by a licensed energy advisor. The advisor conducts an energy audit that shows you where – and how – your house wastes energy. They check for air leaks around your doors and windows, test the effectiveness of your insulation, and measure the efficiency of your furnace and water heater.
To be eligible for the Ontario Retrofit program, you must cover the cost of the energy audit and provide a receipt as proof of purchase. You can apply for a rebate on this expense.
When the audit is complete, you will receive a report that shows where you can make improvements in your home. The audit identifies specific fixtures and appliances that are inefficient or cause you to waste energy.
What you do next is up to you. There’s no obligation to follow the energy advisor’s suggestions. But if you do, you can apply for a rebate to help cover the cost of the renovations. This can include installing a new furnace or retrofitting an old one, re-sealing your windows, or adding new and improved insulation.
How You Can Benefit
Being energy-efficient doesn’t just help the environment – it saves you money. Space heating accounts for 63% of energy consumption in most homes, and water heaters take up another 19%. That means these two appliances alone eat up more than three quarters of your energy bill.
Here are some of the ways the retrofit program can help you cut costs.
– Invest in a high-efficiency furnace. Modern heating systems can be up to 98% fuel efficient. Less fuel consumption means lower monthly bills.
– Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can automatically turn down the heat when you don’t need it – like when you’re asleep or out of the house. A fully-automated smart thermostat offers more potential savings.
– Switch to a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters must continuously reheat water until it’s used. Tankless models use less energy because they heat water on-demand. Plus, a tankless water heater never runs out of hot water.
– Replace or reseal your windows. The average home loses up to a quarter of its heat through small cracks and holes, including the edges of windows and doors. Ensure that your windows are properly caulked and weather-stripped.
– Improve your insulation. Insulation keeps the cold air out and warm air in. Many older homes are prone to energy loss because they have less insulation than homes built today. It’s also important to have proper moisture control and ventilation, which prolongs your insulation’s lifespan.
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