What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Home Energy Audit in Ontario, Canada

In Ontario there are* were two homeowner retrofit programs providing rebates for improving home energy efficiency in an effort to help conserve energy.  In order to qualify the home must be a single family home and have a home energy audit conducted by a certified home energy advisor whose company is licensed by Natural Resources Canada.  A home energy audit is a detailed survey of your home's energy use.  It includes an attic to basement assessment of your home's insulation, heating and cooling systems as well as other energy uses.  It also includes a blower door test to detect air leaks and drafts as well as a personalized Energy Efficient Evaluation Report with recommendations on how you can improve your home's energy efficiency.  Many of the recommended energy-saving upgrades identified for the Government Canada’s ecoEnergy program* and the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program retrofit rebates.

In this short video by the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure energy advisor Vince Hughes walks homeowner Sheilah Doherty through her home’s comprehensive home energy audit.  Energy leaks found in the home are highlighted. 

Even without the available rebates, having a home energy audit done is a good idea.  Most homeowners know there is room for improvement when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation.  They also know the major retrofits needed.  For example we know the furnace is old but it is efficient and we were told not to replace it until it dies given the condition.  We also know the hot water tank needs replacing which we are planning to do if we decide to stay here.  A home energy audit can help identify those little air leaks and other problems you might overlook.  At $300 it is a worthwhile investment in your home.

*On March 31, 2010, the federal government suddenly and unexpectedly announced funding cuts to the ecoEnergy Retrofit Homes Program. It is unknown if the program will be re-instated and how it will affect the Ontario Home Energy Savings program.  At this time the Ontario government continues to pay a $150 rebate for a home energy audit and provide up to $5,000 in rebates.

Garden Gnome