About the assessment
- What is a home energy assessment?
An ecoENERGY residential energy efficiency evaluation provides an objective review of the energy use in your home and determines a rating for the house based on scientific assessment. It provides you with independent advice on how your home uses energy and where it is being wasted. Our Certified Energy Advisor will show you how to improve the comfort of your home, cut heating and cooling costs, and ensure you have adequate, healthy ventilation.
Our service includes the following:
- A comprehensive walk-through of your home to collect energy use data.
- A blower door test to identify and scientifically measure air leakage.
- A detailed report that explains where your energy dollars are being spent and what you can do to improve your home's energy efficiency.
- An EnerGuide for Houses rating label that represents your home’s level of energy-efficiency.
- What type of houses can be assessed?
Home energy assessments can be carried out on most detached and semi-detached houses. Evaluations can be completed on row houses, duplexes, and multi-plexes only if there is an exterior door into an entrance or hallway that provides access to all units.
A mobile home is eligible if it cannot be driven away. It must be on some sort of permanent concrete, wood, or steel foundation. It must also have permanent connections to electrical and plumbing services and the owner must have a municipal tax number.
Only property owners will receive grants and rebates, regardless of whether the property is owner-occupied or rented.
- Who should be present during a home energy assessment?
The adult dealing with the renovation decisions should be present so the advisor can discuss what energy retrofits are recommended and the best way to carry them out.
- How long will a home energy assessment take?
The length of the assessment varies with the size of the house. The typical home energy assessment takes 2 to 3 hours.
Scheduling, preparation and costs
- How soon can I schedule a home energy assessment?
Homeowners wishing to apply for an EcoENERGY grant are now required to register directly with the program before booking their pre- or post-retrofit energy evaluation.
Depending on how busy we are, we can usually book an audit within two to four weeks.
- Can I schedule my assessment in the evening or on weekends?
The availability of evening and weekend assessments depends on your location. Contact a Green Community near you to find out.
- Do I need to do anything to prepare for a home energy assessment?
You will have to make sure that the advisor is able to access all rooms in the house, attic, basement and crawlspace. The attic must be accessible from the interior (the advisor is not allowed to go up on the roof under any circumstances). Wood or pellet stoves and fireplaces must be fully extinguished and ashes should be removed from the hearth of open fireplaces. Also, please make sure to have your property tax bill on hand at the time of the assessment so we can record your tax roll number.
- How much does a home energy assessment cost?
Prices vary depending on where you live. The cost of the initial assessment is between $300 and $350 and the follow-up visit will cost about $150. For homeowners in Ontario, the provincial government will reimburse half the cost of the initial audit (up to a maximum of $150).
After the assessment
- What happens at the completion of my home energy assessment?
Immediately after completing the assessment of your house, the advisor will sit down with you to discuss his findings. The advisor will point out the priority areas that you need to address in order to save energy and will recommend what action to take. At this time, the advisor will also review the government grants that you are eligible for and which are most applicable for your situation.
The advisor will return to his office to prepare a detailed energy efficiency evaluation report which summarizes his findings, including where your house wastes energy, priority areas for action, and the energy rating of your house.
- When will I receive my report?
The report will be mailed to you within two weeks. However, homeowners can begin upgrading as soon as the first assessment is completed. The advisor will discuss with you his recommendations during the initial visit.
- Do I need to complete all the recommendations to get a government grant?
No, you may complete the recommendations of your choice. Our Certified Energy Advisor can help you determine the best improvements for your situation.
- What type of government grants can I obtain?
Under the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program, government grants are available for a number of eligible improvements including:
- Heating, ventilation and cooling systems
- Air sealing
- Domestic Hot Water
- Windows and Doors
- Water Conservation
- What is the amount of government grants I can expect to receive?
The amount of your grant will depend on the improvements you make in your home from among the list of qualifying measures recommended by your Certified Energy Advisor. To be eligible, you will need to invest a minimum of $300 in retrofits. Click here to see a full chart of eligible grants.
The maximum federal ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes grant possible is $5,000.
The more you do to reduce your home’s energy consumption, the more you can expect to get back in the form of a retrofit grant. We have found that, on average, homeowners completing recommended retrofits receive total ecoENERGY grants of about $1,600.
- How do I apply for grant money?
Our Certified Energy Advisor will complete the grant application for you during the second visit, after confirming the improvements that you have made. All you have to do is sign the application and we will submit it on your behalf. The same application is used for both the provincial and federal grants.
- How much time do I have to apply for the grants?
You must complete all renovations, obtain a post-retrofit evaluation and sign an Application Form no later than March 31, 2012. Do not delay in arranging this last step as energy advisors book up quickly in the final weeks of the program, and NRCan cannot grant extensions under any circumstances.
- How long will it take to receive my grant?
Under normal circumstances, you will receive any grants for which you are eligible within 90 days of your initial home energy evaluation.
- I had an assessment under the old EnerGuide for Houses program. Can I qualify for the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program by using my results from EnerGuide for Houses?
No. You must have a new home energy assessment to be eligible for grants under the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program.
- I received a grant under the previous EcoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program that expired March 31, 2011, and I want to make further improvements. Am I eligible for another grant under the renewed ecoENERGY Retrofit program?
Yes. Homeowners who participated in the program before April 1, 2011, and did not receive the maximum amount of $5,000 for their current property, can submit another application for additional improvements purchased and installed in that property after June 6, 2011.
- I completed an energy efficiency upgrade, prior to June 6, 2011. Can I still qualify for a government grant?
No. Upgrades done before June 6, 2011 are not eligible for a government grant under the new ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program.
- Can I get an energy evaluation and EnerGuide rating even if I am not seeking funding?
Yes. Energy evaluations are a great investment in your property. You can identify the best opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, improve your home’s energy performance and receive an EnerGuide rating label. Certain provinces and cities are considering legislation requiring an energy evaluation through a licensed service organization and obtaining a label before selling a home.
I really felt like I got solid answers to my questions and the report that the advisor sent was clear and easy to understand.
– Jim Brogdan, Guelph