Green. It’s no longer just the colour of St. Patrick’s Day.
Green has become the world’s color of choice. The buzzword for every industry. In a time when even children are aware of global warming and the need to conserve energy is high; everyone is looking to go green. From compact fluorescent light bulbs to hybrid cars, the goal is energy efficiency.
The Ontario Government’s January 2009 announcement of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act is looking to ensure that homeowners and home buyers are wrapped in this season’s most becoming color. This law would make an energy audit a mandatory component of the sale of a home. Coupled with the Canadian Government’s Home Renovation Tax Credit and cash rebates of up to $10,000 to make your home energy efficient, it’s a small wonder that homeowners across Canada aren’t lining up for an energy audit.
Whether you are looking to put your house on the market or you simply want to take advantage of government money to spruce up your home, getting a qualified home inspector to help point you in the right direction makes sense. Asking yourself a few common-sense questions will help you get started.
Why should I get an Energy Audit? David Suzuki’s corny commercials give us a few good tips on how to be energy efficient, but they really are just the tip of the iceberg. Changing a few light bulbs and sealing up a drafty window are good ideas, but bigger savings require bigger renovations. A qualified home inspector who is a federally licensed energy auditor will be able to tell you how to get the most bang for your eco-dollar.
Who can do an Energy Audit? Any qualified home inspector will be able to point out energy saving tips, however, to receive any tax credits, rebates or grants, you must use a federally licensed energy auditor. Natural Resources Canada Energy licenses auditors, and you can find one in your area by using the postal code driven search engine at their website (oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/new-home-improvement/contact-advisors.cfm).
What’s in it for me? At the end of your energy audit you will be provided with a list of retrofits, their estimated costs and any available government grants. Planning on selling your home; then this report will help make your home more marketable. Planning on staying; then this report will help you plan your renovations to best take advantage of government rebates and tax credits. You also stand to gain more than just in the short term, as long term energy savings will help keep money in your wallet.
What kind of retrofits are suggested? It’s more than just electricity. When embarking on an energy audit you will need to keep an open mind. Saving energy is more than just turning off the lights when you leave the room. An energy audit will look at items such as your home’s water efficiency, indoor air quality, heating and cooling, as well as insulation.
Going green was never easier or more profitable. With the help of a Natural Resources Canada energy auditor you can make the renovations you want, know you are helping the environment, and get some cash back at the same time.