Sunday, November 7, 2010

ecoENERGY Retrofit Program

Another motivating factor in proceeding with this renovation was the ecoENERGY program which offers home owners a rebate of up to $5,000 to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

In February, we had an evaluator from ATCO EnergySense complete an energy efficiency evaluation. After completing several hours of testing, they assigned our house an enerGuide rating on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the least efficient and 100 being the most efficient.

Our house rated 29, which is no surprise since our house was almost completely uninsulated. The average rating of a house of this age in Alberta is 43.

The evaluator provided us with a list of recommended improvements which if completed will improve the rating of our house from 29 to 70!

Replace furnace with 95% high efficiency furnace
Estimated cost: $2,500                      Rebate: $650

Replace hot water tank with instant hot water system:
Estimated cost: $1,300                      Rebate: $315

Insulate walls (spray foam):   
Estimated cost: $5,000                      Rebate: $1,815

Insulate attic and cathedral ceiling 
(blown fiberglass, spray foam):   
Estimated cost: $4,000                       Rebate: $750

Insulate basement:
Estimated cost: $1,000                       Rebate: $1,375

Install new EnergyStar windows and doors:
Estimated cost: $25,000                      Rebate: $480

Improve air seal (spray foam, new windows & doors):
Estimated cost:      -                       Rebate: $190

Install low flow toilets:
Estimated cost: $500                          Rebate: $130
So in total we are looking at spending $39,300 in order to get the maximum $5,000 rebate. It sounds like a lot of money, but most of the improvements we had intended to do any way so we look at it as $5,000 in savings on our renovation. Most importantly, by completing the recommended upgrades and increasing our houses enerGuide rating to 70, we will be reducing our energy consumption by up to 58% and our green house gas emission by 9.9 tonnes per year! Not to mention the money we will be saving on our utilities bills...

We had not intended to replace our furnace since the one we have will likely last another decade but it was hard to turn up the $650 rebate. Especially since it turned out to be on top of paying only half of the $5,000 we were quoted by a local furnace company by using our sources to get the furnace for $1,800 and finding a installer on kijiji willing to install it for $500.

It is also unlikely we will go ahead with the basement insulation simply because our basement is packed to the rafters while the rest of the house is torn apart and I doubt it will be possible for us to get it empty enough to insulate by time the program ends in March.

I have been tracking our utility bills since we moved into the house so I am interested to see if we really see a drastic reduction.


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