By now Canadian tax payers are aware of the Federal Governments temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit, but most have not heard about the ECOEnergy Grants. It is another temporary program that has been put in place by the Federal Government and is being supported by most Provincial Governments to help home owners to improve energy conservation. It allows home owners to receive a grant, which does not need to be repaid, of up $5000.00 from the Federal Government, which will be matched in the form of a rebate in Ontario. This program has a deadline of March 31, 2011.
How it Works
There is a simple procedure that needs to be followed if you wish to make your improvements eligible for the program.
1 – Prior to undertaking any energy efficiency renovations you need to get a home energy assessment. To do this you will need to hire a Natural Resources Canada Certified Energy Advisor. Once the assessment is completed they will give you an evaluation report and a Energuide rating for your home. They will advise you as to which improvements should be done to most improve the energy efficiency of your home.
2 – You then have 18 months, or until March 31, 2011, whichever comes first, to complete the recommended energy upgrades. Make sure to leave enough time for a post-retrofit energy evaluation.
3 – Have the post-retrofit assessment done by an Energy Advisor to confirm your new energy rating and to submit your grant application.
4 – Wait 90 after your post-retrofit evaluation to receive your cheque.
Other Important Information
This program can be used along with the Home Renovation Tax Credit, meaning that you can claim costs that exceed the grant amounts towards the tax credit. This will allow for large savings to many home owners. A wide variety of different improvements are covered by these grants, a list of items and amounts can be found at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/retrofit-homes/retrofit-qualify-grant.cfm?attr=4#eligible.
Another important fact is that now in Ontario all homes must have an energy assessment done before they are sold unless the buyer chooses to have the assessment waved.
More information on the program and eligibility can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website at www.nrcan.gc.ca.
by Michael Essex – J. Hunter & Associates