NOTE: I updated this post on September 30, 2013 as many of the programs have now changed or have been cancelled.
Now that the Home Renovation Tax Credit has expired, you might be reluctant to do any but the necessary home improvement work around your house. The HRTC covered ANY home improvement, as long as it was permanently attached to the house (i.e., decks and broadloom can be claimed but patio furniture and area rugs can’t). But don’t despair, there are still some rebates available for energy efficiency upgrades — which in the long run will save you money. However, trying to find available grants and rebates can be like walking through the cedar maze on Toronto Island, so I’ve put together a list of websites that can help in your search to save money.
One important point: if you want a rebate on any of the work you’re having done you must use a qualified energy auditor to perform pre and post energy audits. So if you’re building a new house, the rebates don’t apply (bummer, eh?).
Below is a list of websites that will guide you to the grants and rebates available to you depending on what home renovations you do.
City of Toronto:
Live Green Toronto has a program called HEAT (Home Energy Assistance Toronto) that lists the amount of rebate you can receive for improving your home’s insulation [***Update: As of March 31, 2011, this program is no longer available***].
Provincial Rebates and Grants:
Under the Home Energy Savings Program, the Ontario government matches federal grants and rebates, so you get twice the bang for your rebate buck. Provincial rebates are up to a maximum of $5000. [Note: this program appears to no longer be in existence. In its place are several smaller, piecemeal programs. Check out this page for more information at the Ministry of the Environment, Ontario.
Update: As of September 30th, 2013, “Every Kilowatt Counts” is now called the SaveONenergy program. It is the Ontario Power Authority’s website that offers great energy saving tips as well as coupons for gadgets that help you better control your electricity use. In the spring of 2010 look for coupons for discounts on programmable thermostats, weatherstripping, and one of my favourites, powerbars with built-in timers (be still my beating heart!). Plus, if you click further into their website, you’ll find a handy chart that identifies who sells what. (Hot tip!: Canadian Tire sells everything on the list!).
Federal Rebates and Grants:
The ecoEnergy Retrofit program is the federal government’s energy efficiency program. The rules are again very specific and depend on an energy audit first. But you can earn up to a maximum of $5000 in rebates depending on how far you take the efficiency steps. Note: This grant program is set to expire in March 31, 2011. Update: As of March 31, 2010, the federal government has cancelled this program. For more information read this post.
Happy Home Improvement!