The proposed federal budget before the recent election on May 2nd included a $400 million grant to reinstate the ecoEnergy Retrofit program for another year. The program, which expired on March 31st of this year, gave homeowners who renovated to make their homes more energy-efficient up to $5,000 in rebates.
Homeowners had to undergo a Home Energy Audit, where an auditor would come to the home and determine what energy-efficient renovations could be done. Homeowners would then make the renovations and undergo a second Home Energy Audit to qualify for the rebates. Provincial governments also had similar programs, and those who live in Ontario could have gotten up to a combined $10,000: $5,000 from the federal program and $5,000 from the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program.
The budget has already made it through the House of Commons, so it just might pass without a hitch.
Homeowners can also boost their home’s value in order to sell it at a higher price with these programs.
The Hamilton Spectator published an interesting article this week on the energy retrofit programs and the benefits and drawbacks the programs have to the renovation industry. For example, the program provides a lot of work for contractors and renovators, but the unreliable income for a Home Energy Auditor position (especially since the federal program was axed ahead of schedule last year) has sent some auditors to other jobs with more stable income.
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