On May 15th, bill 150 – Ontario Green Energy Act (GEA) was passed. After only three months the Ontario Liberal government has succeeded in passing this law by a vote of 59 in favour and 13 against. Now in the regulation and implementation phase.
Bill 150 has two main thrusts: making it easier to bring renewable energy projects to life and creating a culture of conservation so that people can go about their daily lives using less energy. The Government of Ontario states it has developed the Green Energy Act to create jobs, fight climate change, and secure Ontario’s place as the continent’s leading green economy.
The GEA will assist in Ontario’s goal to increase the amount of renewable energy in the province from 26% (mostly supplied by hydroelectric) to approximately 45% by 2025. The key driver for meeting this target will be through feed-in tariffs, which will provide fixed prices for multi-year contracts for renewable energy producers. The Act is expected to result in energy cost increases of only 1% annually for the average household and will create 50,000 new “green” jobs.
How does this affect the Real Estate market?
Buyers’ making an offer to purchase an interest in real property has the right to receive from the person selling the property prescribed information, ratings or reports relating to energy consumption and efficiency (Home Energy Audit). The seller must provide these reports before acceptance of that persons offer. This doesn’t apply if the buyer chooses to waive this in writing.
These ratings or reports relating to energy consumption are established by way of a Home Energy Audit. If your home’s older than 10 years, chances are you’re leaking energy. A lot of energy and a lot of money. A Home Energy Audit will examine your home’s energy use – attic to basement – and show you where your home’s energy is being leaked. It will identify upgrades you can make to lower your energy bill. Make the upgrades suggested in your audit and you can take advantage of up to $10,000 in rebates available from the Governments of Ontario and Canada. The Government of Ontario will pay 50% of your home’s audit, up to $150.
I spoke briefly with a representative from CanSpec (auditors located in North Bay) to get a bit of a break-down on pricing and availability, here's what I found out:
Home < 1500sf cost $370.00, 1500 - 2000sf cost $395.00, 2000 - 2500sf cost $420.00, over 2500sf cost $445.00
Cost $255.00 regardless of the size of your home
The seller must perform the first inspection, (unless waived by buyer) the seller is then entitled to the $150 rebate from the government. This is enough to satisfy the real estate transaction. The buyer can then perform the retro-fits and take advantage of the up to $10,000 in rebates from the government as long as the retro-fits are done within 18 months. Once complete an energy rating sticker is afixed to the electrical panel. The availability of an auditor may pose a problem, according to CanSpec the next sechduled visit to Muskoka is July 7-8th, with some more remote locations having to wait until late September. This may however all change as demand for this service increases. This program will be in effect till March 2011. The inspection being performed now are for energy conscous home owners looking to save money and help protect the environment.
Do your audit now and make energy improvements. The home energy audit will be a good investment. You will not have to perform the audit again when you choose to sell your home, unless of course, the government changes the criteria??? It’s not perfect. It has its critics. A lot is left to be proven. But this is a step in the right direction and the ground work has been laid to become national leaders in making Ontario greener.
Get your Home Energy Audit
Step 1 - Find an auditor and book your Home Energy Audit
Finding a Government of Canada certified Home Energy Auditor is easy. Go to HomeEnergyOntario.ca for a list of certified home evaluation companies in your area and book your Home Energy Audit today.
Step 2 - Your home energy auditor will find your home’s energy leaks
During your Home Energy Audit, an auditor will find your home’s energy leaks and show what you can do to plug them. Your auditor will provide you with a personalized Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report and a plan that can reduce your energy bills.
Step 3 - Plug the leaks with energy-saving upgrades
Need a new furnace or water heater? Caulking around your windows and doors? Make some or all of the upgrades suggested in your Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Step 4 -When your work is completed, book your post-retrofit audit
After your first audit, you have 18 months to complete some or all of the upgrades suggested in your audit to qualify for government rebates. After completing your retrofit, book a post-retrofit audit. Your auditor will perform another audit that shows how much your home’s energy efficiency has improved.
Step 5 - Get up to $10,000 in government rebates
After your post-retrofit audit, the Governments of Ontario and Canada will rebate up to $10,000 for your upgrades. The more energy-saving upgrades you make, the more money you’ll get back. You’ll save money and increase your home’s comfort and value.
Example of rebates available
Install an ENERGY STAR qualified gas furnace $600
Insulate your attic up to $1,200
Insulate your crawl space up to $1,600
Install a solar domestic hot water system $1,000
List of Home Energy Auditors for Muskoka/Lake of Bays/Almaguin Highlands (to check your area click here)
Building System Solutions
1 866 284 6010
Green Communities Canada
Energuy Canada Ltd
BuyWise Inspection Services Ltd.
Green Communities Canada
CanSpec Inspection Services
1 866 284 6010