Residential energy-efficiency retrofit incentives expanded

06/22/05

This release is also available in French



OTTAWA -- Owners of low-rise residential properties and assisted housing may now be able to receive cash incentives for making their buildings more energy-efficient. The Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, today announced amendments to the EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive that eliminate the restriction to owner-occupied units, thus extending eligibility to rental properties and co-op housing. The changes also include incentives for installing high-efficiency gas or oil-fired central heating systems.

"Property owners, as well as homeowners, will now be able to get more for their renovation dollar," said Minister Efford. "The changes to the program will give landlords and owners of assisted-housing property the opportunity to make their buildings more comfortable, save money on their monthly energy bills, and take action on climate change that will make a difference tomorrow."

In the case of assisted housing, the amendments will allow the property owner's share of costs for the EnerGuide for Houses (EGH) service to be reimbursed. This reimbursement would be limited to $100 per dwelling and $50,000 per housing authority or assisted-housing operator. To be eligible, the assisted-housing operator or housing authority must guarantee that at least 50 percent of the dwelling receiving an EGH evaluation will actually be retrofitted within 18 months.

The amendments will also allow for a direct grant of up to $100 to all applicants who purchase and install ENERGY STAR®-qualified high-efficiency furnaces and boilers, including oil-fired furnaces that have an annual fuel-utilization efficiency of at least 85 percent. This grant should help stimulate the market for these types of products and encourage property owners to complete the maximum number of recommendations contained in their EGH evaluation report.

Finally, the total grant amount payable to eligible recipients over the life of the EGH program has been increased to $100,000. The Government of Canada introduced the original EGH in the fall of 2003. To date, 23,000 grants totalling $15 million have been paid to Canadian homeowners.

The EGH program is also a way Canadians can participate in the Government of Canada's One-Tonne Challenge. The Challenge encourages all Canadians to reduce their individual greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, or one tonne. Homeowners who have renovated after using the EGH service have achieved average energy savings of 27 percent and trimmed their emissions by four tonnes per year.

The Government of Canada's approach to climate change is focused on making the right choices for Canada. This will ensure that the actions taken contribute to the long-term goals of building a sustainable economy for the 21st century, a healthier environment and strong communities, while affirming Canada's place in the world.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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