If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you are either in a panic or in denial about what’s happening with energy costs in Ontario. We all know they only go up but this year, we are seeing some pretty dramatic increases starting in the cost of both electricity and gas prices that can leave your wallet at least $400.00 lighter by this time next year.
There are a surprising number of conservation and renewable energy programs available that can help you cut your energy costs NOW and they are offered by local suppliers of utilities as well as by various levels of government and other associations. I’ll try to summarize some of the best options and, will tell you how I can help our Buyers and Sellers as well.
You can start by looking at the Ontario governments Ministry of Energy page here.
One of the more interesting programs is the saveONenergy Program offered through the Ontario Power Authority which offers incentives for homeowners and businesses ranging from discount coupons to energy retrofits and the popular PeaksaverPlus program that helps you monitor and reduce energy consumption and gives you a free programmable thermostat too
You’ve heard me talk about solar before and the microFIT program is a way to contribute to putting clean energy into the grid while generating income for yourself.
If you are in financial need, the Home Weatherization Retrofit Program offers generous and FREE energy saving upgrades for qualifying individuals and families.
If you are replacing an old fridge or freezer, have your old ones picked up for free.
Replacing a toilet with a water efficient one? You can earn a $50.00 rebate for qualifying models.
This one is amazing. Small Businesses can get up to $1500 in FREE lighting upgrades under the Small Business Lighting Program. There’s no catch.
Go on your local utility supplier website and you are likely to find a link to all kinds of generous coupons for everything from light bulbs to weatherstripping. Click here to see what is on offer by COLLUS-PowerStream.
I mentioned that we can help our Buyers and Sellers too. Here’s how.
Our RE/MAX office has signed onto an agreement with Enbridge under their Home Rating Program which provides financial incentives for having and understanding home energy ratings. For home Buyers purchasing a house that has a current Enbridge account for heating, you qualify to have a FREE home energy audits (valued at $350) completed! The audit will help you identify the things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your future home, saving you money on future operating costs. Easy, huh? The program ends December 31, 2014.
If you are buying or building and energy efficient home or are planning to renovate a home to make it more energy efficient, you may qualify for a 10% refund on your mortgage loan insurance through the CMHC Green Home Program.
Remember, the cost to operate your home on a day to day basis really is the second price tag of your home.
By cutting your consumption and by adding energy efficient features, you are improving your comfort, improving the environment, improving your future resale value and you are saving money along the way. Not only can you save big right now but over time, you can save much more than the $1,000 I promised. So what are you waiting for?
Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg