Home Energy Conservation Government Grants – ecoENERGY Revisited – 10

Editor’s Note: Over the holidays we are re-publishing selected articles related to our ecoENERGY energy conservation experiences. Some of the grant amounts may have changed. To access the more than 20 articles we have written on our energy conservation experiences through the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program, simply use this link to access our ecoENERGY Energy Conservation page.


More than a year went by between the first and second, or follow-up, energy audit.

As you may recall, the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program allows Canadian home owners of eligible single family homes 18 months between the first (’D’) and second (’E’) energy efficiency assessment (i.e. energy audit) to undertake prescribe energy efficiency projects or appliance replacement (e.g. high efficiency furnace or air conditioner) to receive Federal and usually matching Provincial grants.

It has been 15 months since we had our first energy audit; here were the recommendations from the report we received:

energy audit report page 1 air tightness Home Energy Conservation Government Grants   ecoENERGY Revisited   10

Remember, the Incentive amounts were (A) displayed as Federal only, i.e. exclusive of any matching Provincial ecoENERGY Retrofit grant, and (B) some of the amounts have been updated since back in late 2007, e.g. DWHR.

The first item, basement wall insulation, was inaccurate as our walls. It was an error in the report which we subsequently confirmed on the phone with the assessor.  We did not receive a quote on a tankless natural gas water heater which could provide financial payback in 5 years or less, even after taking into account both the Federal and matching Provincial grants so we did not proceed with this. The 5 year financial payback is our own yardstick for making a purchase of an appliance more than $1,000 strictly for energy conservation purposes. It’s not like I have a money tree growing out in our back yard, you know.

We also did not install a DWHR device, even though we really like the concept and the device. The prior owners of our home not only covered the main drain pipe in the basement, into which the DWHR unit would be placed, with finished drywall, they also placed a sink and vanity in front of the wall. It would have been an awful lot of work to break the drywall, replace it once the DWHR device was installed, refinish it, etc.

So what did we do which is eligible for the ecoENENRGY Retrofit grant?

We did replace many of the windows with ENERGY STAR rated windows. We did this because there were many, many air leaks which we could feel in the winter. Now, I still don’t pretend to agree that $30 per window is a fair amount of a grant considering that ENERGY STAR windows are on the expensive side and that we have many windows 5 foot high by 4 foot wide (i.e. the grant money should be more).

I also don’t pretend to understand how the program defines a ‘window’. I keep reading and hearing that 1 window = 1 hole in the wall. By my count we have at the most 27 windows, not 36 per the report. Based on my definition of a ‘hole in the wall’, we have replaced 18 with ENERGY STAR rated windows, which would see us receive $540 (18 X $30) in Federal ecoENERGY grant money and another $540 in Provincial matching ecoENERGY grant money.

As for the last one on the above eligible energy efficiency list, one never really knows about the air tightness unless one has the same devices used by the energy auditor. However, I think we should be at least close to achieving the 10% increase in air tightness target with our energy tighness related measures taken from our growing collection of home renovation tips and money saving tips collection which we used in our home over the past 15 months, including:

Heck, I would not be (optimistically) surprised if we achieved not just the 10% increase but a 20% increase in air tightness which would make us eligible for not just the $150 air tightness grant but an additional $150 grant.

So, by my count we should be in line for $1,380 ($540 Fed. + $540 Prov. + $150 Fed. + $150 Prov.)  total ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit grant. And, that is tax free money. It is supposed to take, per our energy auditing firm, 120 days to receive the Federal portion and a further 30 to 60 days to receive the Provincial portion. And that is good; we still owe money for the front door on the no-interest-no-payment financing deal where the payment is due just about the time that the Provincial portion of the grant is due.

We’ll let you know tomorrow what the energy auditor told us during his return visit.

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