Energy-efficient homes are on-trend and smart. An energy-efficient house or condo costs less to heat, cool, and illuminate, and consumes fewer natural resources. Result: you save green, while living green! Some energy-efficient upgrades cost more than others, but rebates and incentives can help cushion that initial investment.
Rebates for energy-efficient homes
If you’re buying or building an energy-efficient house, or making energy-efficient renovations to your recent purchase, Genworth offers a 10% mortgage loan insurance premium refund on Genworth insured mortgages.
Smaller rebates, coupons and strategies can add up too. Here are 10 energy-efficient home improvements to consider.
Energy upgrade #1: Double-, triple- or quad-glaze windows
Reduce heat transfer by upgrading inefficient single or double-pane windows to Argon- or Krypton-gas filled, triple- or quadruple-glazed glass.
How to save: The City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers homeowners low-interest financing on energy-efficiency home improvements including window and door replacement.
Energy upgrade #2: Energy Star appliances
Splurge on that new kitchen set, as long as it’s Energy Star rated. Swapping an old fridge for an energy-efficient model one, for example, can save you $125/year.
How to save: Buy your appliances from a retailer that will take away the old appliances for free. Or book a free fridge or freezer pick up (on applicable appliances) through the Ontario Power Authority’s SaveOnEnergy program and earn 100 Air Miles.
Energy upgrade #3: Tankless water heater
Water heating is the second biggest energy drain in the home. A tankless heater heats water on demand – not all day and night.
How to save: Enbridge customers can participate in its Community Energy Conservation Program for up to $2,000 in incentives. Sign up for an energy audit, implement energy-efficiency upgrades like this one, and save!
Energy upgrade #4: Attic insulation
Keep warm air from escaping by weather-stripping doors and hatches to the attic from your living space. Insulate the attic itself to trap heat indoor heat and prevent ice on your roof.
How to save: Attic insulation is also included in the Community Energy Conservation Program described above.
Energy upgrade #5: Low-flow showerheads and faucets
Low-flow kitchen and bath fixtures use less water without affecting performance. If you don’t want to replace your fixtures, just swap out showerheads and aerators.
Energy upgrade #6: Programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save 10% on heating and cooling costs.
How to save: Ontario Power Authority offers a $10 rebate on programmable baseboard thermostats. HydroOne offers customers a free programmable air-conditioner thermostat (value $250), when you join the Peaksaver Plus program.
Energy upgrade #7: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems
With 60% of a home’s energy costs tied to heating, swapping to an Energy Star-qualified heating and cooling system can save you up to $325/year.
How to save: The Ontario Power Authority’s Heating & Cooling Incentive can save you up to $650.
Energy upgrade #8: Energy-Star rated dehumidifier
An energy-efficient dehumidifier costs up to $50 less per year to operate than an older model, and enhances your home’s comfort while reducing the risk of mold.
How to save: Bring your 10-year-old or older dehumidifier to participating Canadian Tire stores for a $50 coupon towards a replacement Energy-Star rated model.
Energy upgrade #9: Energy Star qualified lighting
Replace old light fixtures and incandescent bulbs with Energy Star qualified fixtures, plus compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, which use 75% less energy.
Energy upgrade #10: Draft-proofing
Weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows can lower your home’s heating and cooling needs by as much as 20%
How to save: The Ontario Power Authority offers $2 to $3 off packages of weather stripping and $3 off door frame kits.