October 27, 2011

Reduce the cost of your energy bills this winter

Unfortunately, the warm season is already behind us. Once our Halloween costumes are folded and put away, we know that winter is just around the corner.  The cold and the mornings spent shoveling are mortifying enough, why top it off with dizzying energy bills?

The Government of Canada has renewed the popular ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program. From June 6, 2011, until March 31, 2012, homeowners are eligible to receive grants of up to $5,000 to make their homes more energy-efficient. Homeowners who participated in the program to date have saved 20 percent on their energy bills.

There are two important changes to the program. First, there is a requirement for participants to register directly with the program before booking their evaluation. Second, homeowners will now be required to provide receipts to their energy advisor at the time of the post-retrofit evaluation to confirm eligibility for the grant.

How to apply

The first step in the renewed ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program is to register:

If you or the previous owners have not obtained an energy evaluation of the property between April 1, 2007 and June 5, 2011, click on the following link to register:


For homeowners who participated in the program between April 1, 2007 and June 5, 2011, and who did not receive the maximum amount of $5,000, you can submit another application for improvements purchased and installed on or after June 6, 2011 by clicking on the link below:


If you plan to apply for multiple properties, a form must be completed for each one.

If you are not sure which form to complete, follow the instructions on the registration page.

Only products purchased on or after June 6, 2011, and installed after a pre-retrofit evaluation are eligible for an ecoENERGY grant. Funds are limited and all energy retrofits and post-retrofit evaluations must be completed by March 31, 2012. The homeowner must also sign the grant application by this date.

Steps to apply for the grant

  1. Registration: First, register with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and receive a registration number. If you do not have Internet access, you can call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
  2. Pre-retrofit evaluation: Hire a local service organization licensed by NRCan. They will send a certified energy advisor to perform a pre-retrofit energy evaluation from the attic to the foundation. If the property has already been evaluated under this program since April 2007, a new pre-retrofit evaluation is not required.
  3. Retrofit with receipts: Choose, purchase and install eligible measures described in this document, and keep your receipts for three years. The more upgrades you implement, the more money you can receive, and the more energy you can save.
  4. Post-retrofit evaluation: Complete your renovations and obtain a post-retrofit evaluation no later than March 31, 2012. You must show all your receipts to your energy advisor during the final evaluation to verify that you purchased and installed eligible upgrades after June 6, 2011, and after a pre-retrofit evaluation.

Most homeowners receive a grant cheque from the Government of Canada within 90 days of their post-retrofit evaluation.

You could take advantage of this great program to stay warm this winter by investing, for example, in your attic insulation. It is a relatively easy project, which will bring comfort to your budget for many years. An insulated attic will reduce the energy amount required to keep your home warm by preventing warm air leakage caused by air currents and breaches. For a 2-storey house, this could translate into savings that can reach up to 28% of your heating and air conditioning bills.

You may also choose to limit your holiday shopping to one only gift this cold season by investing in a home renovation project that will benefit the entire family. By transforming your basement into an additional living space, for example, you don’t only create an extra room, but you also offer your family a place to spend time together.

In short, use these grants to treat yourself to a cozy nest this winter while saving the rest of the year on your energy bills.

Useful links (right column):

To learn more about the type of renovations that are eligible under theecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program, please click on the following link:


To find a local service organization licensed by Natural Resources Canada that will send one of its energy advisors to your home for an assessment prior to the home improvements, please enter the first three digits of your postal code on the following web page:


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Jack Lehrer is a successful mortgage broker in Montreal who has been in the realm of customer service for over 25 years. Treating his clients with the respect they deserve is what has propelled his business. His satisfied clients not only return, but pass his name on to their friends. His greatest pleasure comes from helping a client realize their dreams. As a Mortgage Broker he is able to make your life easier. He searches for the best mortgage terms and rates from over 20 financial institutions to find you the right mortgage. If you are planning to renovate, buy a house or refinance your mortgage, then he is your best choice for all your mortgage needs.

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