ecoENERGY Report – Part 21 – The Second Audit-The Results

OK, now that we are written several articles in the past day on what happened during the second of two energy audits, or energy efficiency assessments as they are called within the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program, we can now tell you the results.

We told you before that we did not qualify for the 10% reduction in air leakage despite our best efforts.

What about the windows?

If you recall prior articles the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit grant provides $30 per new ENERGY STAR window from Natural Resources Canada which, in Ontario as it is in at least most Provinces, a further $30.

Now, what you have to understand is that it is not exactly $30 per new ENERGY STAR window. Here is what is listed right from the ecoENERGY web site:

Replace windows and skylights with models that are ENERGY STAR® qualified for your climate zone.”

What they don’t tell you is what defines a ‘window’.

south facing windows ecoENERGY Report   Part 21   The Second Audit The Results

In the above picture, how many ‘windows’ do you see?

What about in the next picture of our living room’s bay windows? 

living room bay window ecoENERGY Report   Part 21   The Second Audit The Results

Well, according to the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit grant program, there are only 3 windows in the Family Room picture and only 1 ‘window’ in the living room.

What the do not tell you on the ecoENERGY web site, or if they do I couldn’t find it, is that the $30 + $30 ecoENERGY grant per ENERGY STAR ‘window’ is really $30 + $30 per opening in the outside wall in which there are one or more ENERGY STAR windows.

And, that is regardless of the size of window. It cost us way more than $30 + $30 = $60 to purchase and have installed ENERGY STAR bay windows in our living room vs non-ENERGY STAR windows.

But, it is what it is. I just want you to be aware of what you might be getting into should you be trying to calculate how much ecoENERGY grant money you will receive if you replace your existing windows with ENERGY STAR rated replacement windows.

So, where does that leave us?

Well there were 13 ‘openings’ in our exterior walls in which we had ENERGY STAR rated windows installed.

So, we can expect to receive 13 X $30 = $390 from the Federal Government and a further $390 from our Provincial Government.

We learned a lot. We hope you did as well from reading our experiences with the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program.

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  1. Terry Heenan says:

    This is the first time I have accessed your web page, so I am sorry to read your comments regarding the missed expectations on the value of the ecoEnergy grant for windows and doors. I also did a quick, not thorough search of their website and did not find the particular passage that is available in their printed material that states that it is “per opening in an insulated space”.
    That said, I am disappointed that your energy auditor or your window supplier did not make point this out. Shame on them. Promise only what you can deliver!

  2. bakeapples says:

    I counted 3 & 1 as well, nevertheless it is a good point to make for others considering window upgrades.

    I have to ask do you in fact have 36 window/rough openings? I always thought that was excessive – McMansion style lol. Maybe your first auditor messed up there as well. Maybe he counted panes/sashes?

    My auditor mentioned that window upgrades offer little energy savings unless there is significant air leakage, although he usually will list it in the recommendations in case the homeowner wanted to use it as an opportunity to do a “non-energy” upgrade (improve home look or reduce maintenance, etc).

  3. Dan says:

    Hey ‘Bake’ :)

    By my revised count ‘rough openings’ it was less than 36.

    There were 4 openings in the basement that we did not have the windows replaced.

    Agree with you about the much more minor energy efficiency of ENERGY STAR windows…….however, in our case many of them were so bad … just like our original front door which leaked cold air … that we went ahead and made the investment.


  4. Peter says:

    Thanks for taking the time to document all this. I had an audit done too, downloaded the HOT2000 software spent thousands in instrumentation to measure the actual energy flows. My conclusion is that while much better than nothing (grants and basic audits), there is a long way to go. Very few people have the engineering knowledge (including the auditors) to properly guide you towards the ultimate goal — a house that costs as little as possible to operate and maintain. The most important thing is insulation. Too bad they cap it — I have R40 in the basement. On-demand hot water is a farce (for energy savings), Drain Water Heat Recovery is fantastic if you take mostly showers, Solar hot water is marginally cost effective in maritime climates. I have all of these installed and monitored real time and the results were not what I would have expected. Finally, it is ridiculous that the government doesn’t insist that these audits include a thermal imaging camera. The color photos could be given to insulation contractors and then you’d tell them the follow up image will conform their workmanship. They are more interesting in collecting data to populate their HOT2000 database and prove Canada’s contribution to reducing global warming than they are in truly assisting Canadians with engineering to slash their monthly budget for energy costs. You’d think that if someone wanted to go all the way and retrofit or build the ultimate, a solar passive house or zero-energy house that they would get far more assistance and promoted as leaders in sustainability. I could go on (conversations with manufacturers and industry groups that are illuminating) — but I will save that for my next web page. If you or anyone else has any specific questions that remain unanswered about your home audit — e-mail me.


  5. Dan says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for taking the time for the detailed comments. It is always beneficial to hear from others who are trying to make their homes as energy efficient as possible.


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