Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

April 24, 2009 15:45 ET

Opportunity Knocks for Canadian Homeowners ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) -

Note to Editors: 3 photos for this release will be available on Marketwire's website.

Opportunity knocks for Canadian Homeowners

There's never been a better time to make home energy improvements. Whether you want to save money on heating and air conditioning by making your home more energy-efficient, or you just want to renovate to upgrade your home, the Government of Canada is offering incentives to help lower the costs of home improvements.

How? Through two federal initiatives. The popular ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program, which supports energy-efficiency improvements, has been expanded for two more years. And there's other support for your home's energy-efficiency improvements: depending on where you live, you may also qualify for provincial assistance. And for one year, the Government of Canada is offering a new, non-refundable temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth up to $1,350.

ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes

Since its introduction two years ago, ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes has assisted some 85,000 Canadian homeowners by offsetting the costs of energy-efficiency home improvements. Now, Retrofit - Homes has been given additional funding of $300 million. Not only that, the grant amounts have been increased by 25% effective March 30, 2009. That's good news for a lot of people - about another 200,000 Canadian homeowners are expected to take advantage of the rebate program.

"I was really happy with how easily and quickly the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program works," says Jill Hooey of Toronto. "My home evaluation took very little time. The audit identified several sources of air leakage, so we'll be replacing patio doors, as well as the air conditioner. It's nice to see our government helping homeowners."

So far, the most common improvements made by homeowners participating in the program have been upgrades to space heating and air conditioning equipment, improvements to insulation levels and the installation of more energy-efficient windows.

"I think people are really surprised by how well ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes works," says Wendy Cooke, Regional Manager of GreenSaver in Toronto, which specializes in ecoENERGY evaluations. "They appreciate the advice and guidance of our advisors in lowering their home's energy costs and prioritizing the most cost-effective upgrades. And let's face it - everybody likes to get money back from the government."

For full details about program - the application process, the types of retrofits that qualify for grants, the names of certified energy advisors across Canada - go to www.ecoACTION.gc.ca/homes. Program information is also available by calling 1-800-622-6232.

For more information on the Home Renovation Tax Credit, visit the Canada Revenue Agency at cra-arc.gc.ca/hrtc or call 1-800-959-8281.


Helping Canadians save money

Energy efficiency is probably the easiest, most affordable and most effective way for homeowners to control their energy costs and contribute to a healthy environment. The total grant per household can reach a potential $5,000. On average, homeowners have received $1,100 for completing energy-efficiency retrofits, and they've gone on to save an average of $500 a year on their energy bills.

Helping Canadians Help Canada's Economy

The expansion of the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program is an important component of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. Encouraging more Canadians to retrofit their homes for greater energy efficiency will generate new economic activity in all regions of the country.

"Every dollar invested by our government in ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes will generate ten times as much spending on new products and services by Canadian homeowners," said Minister Raitt. "This expanded program will generate $2.4 billion in economic activity across Canada over the next two years."

Energy-efficiency retrofits and renovations protect and create jobs in home renovation, construction and related manufacturing, such as windows and doors, insulation materials and heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. And much of the economic activity will be in the same community where the homeowner lives, supporting local contractors, trades people, suppliers and other businesses.

"Since ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes was brought in a couple of years ago, we've really noticed a significant increase in customers looking for more energy-efficient windows and doors," says Sante Cigana, Vice-President Sales, JELD-WEN Canada. "The program has been good for our business, and we're really glad the government has expanded the program."

For full details about program - the application process, the types of retrofits that qualify for grants, the names of certified energy advisors across Canada - go to www.ecoACTION.gc.ca/homes. Program information is also available by calling 1-800-622-6232.

For more information on the Home Renovation Tax Credit, visit the Canada Revenue Agency at cra-arc.gc.ca/hrtc or call 1-800-959-8281.


How Retrofit - Homes works

The homeowner hires an energy advisor certified by Natural Resources Canada to perform an energy evaluation on the home before the retrofits are started and after work is completed. Homeowners have until March 31, 2011, or 18 months from the date of their pre-retrofit evaluation report - whichever comes first - to complete the post-retrofit evaluation in order to receive a grant at the increased level, subject to available funding.

Homeowners who had a pre-retrofit evaluation completed before March 30, 2009 but haven't yet had their post-retrofit evaluation will receive grants based on the new rates.

As an added incentive, in many cases, homeowners who retrofit their homes under the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program could also qualify for assistance under the new Home Renovation Tax Credit.

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada - Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447