ecoENERGY for Realtors

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A presentation provided to Realtors as an overview of the ecoENERGY home energy audit program and grants. …

A presentation provided to Realtors as an overview of the ecoENERGY home energy audit program and grants.

Also includes some information on home energy use in Ontario, Canada.

Green Venture: Connecting ideas and people to facilitate sustainable living and realize a cleaner, healthier community.

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  • Green Venture is a member of Green Communities Canada, a national association of non-profit, community –based, environmental organizations who deliver similar programs in their communities. Through our association with Green Communities Canada we share resources and information with other environmental organizations and access special programs for local delivery.
  • Why is residential energy-efficiency so important? In Ontario, home energy use accounts for almost 20% of all energy used in the province. For the average homeowner, this equates to roughly $1,300 per year to heat and cool their home.
  • Heating and cooling our homes is significant for two reasons:The Greenhouse gases (GHG) produced is a significant contribution to climate change. It costs the average family a significant amount of money to heat and cool their homes.
  • It is interesting to note that for most of us, our home energy use outweighs the contribution that our transportation choices make to climate change. Many people are aware of the significant impact their transportation has on climate change, but are unaware of how much their home energy use contributes to climate change!*If anyone asks:The chart above includes Direct household emissions. These account for 1/3 of personal emissions. The other 2/3 comes from our consumption of goods , food, etc. These are called Indirect emissions. Contact Green Venture to learn more about reducing the GHG emissions from indirect sources.
  • Here is the breakdown of residential fuel sources in Ontario.Source: Green Communities Canada.
  • Fortunately, there are cost-effective ways to reduce energy use in our homes and reducing utility costs.For example, increasing insulation, sealing up drafts and upgrading to more energy-efficient heating systems.
  • The challenge for the average homeowners is to identify those measures that will give them the best bang for the buck. For example, draft proofing around windows is much more cost-effective than buying new windows.Although there may be other good reasons to replace windows, such as improving the look of the house.
  • Homeowners also need to be aware that everything that goes on in their house – from heating to ventilation to humidity level - is connected. We call this “House as a system.” For example, draft proofing a house to reduce heat loss can increase humidity levels which can result in damaging condensation on windows. For these reasons, it makes sense for a homeowner to enlist the services of a trained specialist who can help determine the most effective way to save energy and avoid problems.
  • That’s where a licensed, and experienced Certified Energy Advisor , like me, comes in.A CEA’s main tool for helping homeowners is a professional home energy assessment, part of the federal government’s ecoENERGY Retrofit Program. This service helps homeowners identify opportunities for improvement, and access provincial and federal grants. In a few minutes I will talk more about the financial incentives that can help homeowners pay for energy-saving renovations. 
  • As a founding member of Green Communities Canada, Green Venture has been licensed to deliver the ecoENERGY program in the Hamilton-Niagara-Brantford-Haldimand-and Norfolk areas.Our sister Green Community, the Elora Environment Centre, delivers the program in the Halton region.Green Communities are real home energy experts – we’ve been in this business since 1991. The GCC has completed almost 200,000 audits to date, including the start-up phase of EnerGuide for Houses for the federal government. Green Communities even designed and tested the retrofit incentive program that is the basis for today’s ecoENERGY program. 
  • Our Certified Energy Advisors are very well trained to identify how your house uses (and wastes) energy. Using building science technology, an advisor goes through a house from top to bottom and recommends ways to cut heating and cooling costs and improve comfort, while maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
  • CEAs can even help solve problems - like a room that is too cold to use in the winter. Or icicles hanging from a roof.
  • Our advisors are friendly and love to answer questions. Here’s a short clip featuring one of our advisors that shows what goes on during an assessment. (Play Video – click hyperlink in page)
  • When the advisor completes the assessment, the homeowner gets a printed report with recommendations .I have brought an example report with me today and we have included one in your resource package.(Walk through report)
  • The homeowner will also receive an energy efficiency rating label that shows how their home compares with similar houses.After the homeowner has completed their renovations, the advisor returns to do a follow-up evaluation and issue a new rating label showing the improved energy-efficiency of their house. (walk through example label)The advisor submits an application to the federal and provincial governments and the homeowner is sent their grant cheques.
  • Now, let’s talk about the grants. ecoENERGY Retrofit is a federal program that provides up to $5,000 for eligible energy-saving upgrades. The province of Ontario matches the federal grants, so a homeowner could get a total of up to $10,000.
  • The grants cover a variety of recommended upgrades and installations including heating, ventilation and cooling systems, hot water systems, insulation, air sealing, windows and doors and water conservation. Low –flow toilets are also eligible under this program. I have brought an example of Natural Resources Canada brochure that outlines the grant info. (Walk through the grant brochure).
  • What’s really interesting is that you can get significant grants for renewable technologies such as solar hot water...(Describe how this technology works)
  • ... and ground source heat pumps. (Describe how this technology works) In order to qualify, a homeowner must have an energy audit and a follow-up evaluation from a CEA.
  • On average, we have found that homeowners have been receiving about $2,500 in grants – that’s not too bad!
  • So let’s take a look at how this program benefits all of us. For the homeowner, energy-efficient homes are more comfortable and healthier.
  • Energy-efficient homes save you money on your energy bill. On average, homeowners who participate in this program reduce their energy consumption by an average of 22%. Based on the averages provided earlier, that’s around $300 per year.Over time, these savings cover the costs of the retrofits, and the rest is pure gravy.
  • And, finally, in a world of volatile energy prices, houses which have reduced operating costs and improved comfort will command a better resale price. According to a recent study by RBC, 96 per cent of Ontario residents say energy consumption is an important consideration when buying a home. This is not only important from a monetary perspective, but from an environmental one also.Energy efficiency is rated just as important as the look and appearance of the home!
  • Let’s not forget the environmental benefits. When the combined household energy reduction of 22% is multiplied out to the tens of thousands of participants in this program, that equates to a very large amount of oil and natural gas that is being conserved for future use. Energy efficiency also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, our air is cleaner and healthier and we have reduced our impact on climate change.
  • Finally, there are the economic benefits to the community. On average, each energy retrofit results in somewhere around $7,500 spending in the local community on retrofits and upgrades.In fact, in 2008, homeowners that we have worked with have generated more than $1,575,00 in local spending..
  • But there’s more. This program has also brought a tonne of money into the community from outside. During 2008, Green Venture has brought more than $643,200 into our community through provincial and federal rebates and grants.
  • This brings us to Ontario’s Green Energy Act. The purpose of the Act is to increase conservation and boost investment in renewable energy projects, thereby creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. Under the Act, people selling or leasing a residential property will be required to provide an energy rating and a report to buyers, unless the buyer waives her right to a rating. According to Ontario’s Energy Minister, the existing ecoENERGY audit program will be used. The Ontario government is following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom and governments across Europe that have already introduced universal home ratings. What has your experience been with this? Do you find that homeowners waiving the audit? Are you, and or other realtors recommending to waive the audit? If so, why? Is there any way we can help you with this?
  • As consumers, we can compare the rated energy consumption of large appliances...
  • and vehicles...
  • why not with a house, which is the most expensive item that most of us will buy in our lifetimes?The time has come to get serious about upgrading our outdated pre-1980 housing stock and to reward energy efficiency in the marketplace.  It’s time to bring our 19th and 20th century houses into the 21st century – for the sake of the environment and our economy. Energy ratings on home sales will help to do this by making energy efficiency a household word. It’s about transforming the marketplace.
  • The good news when a homeowner is selling a house , it is usually relatively inexpensive to bring the energy performance of the home up to scratch – less than $10,000, and possibly much less than that. This also has significant impact on reducing the impact of the house n the environment.
  • For example, increasing attic insulation to R50 in a house may only cost $600 to $1,500. Under the current ecoENERGY Retrofit program a homeowner could qualify for up to $1,500 in grants!  Like any other home improvement, energy retrofits can be a good selling point for home owners planning to list their houses: one that creates annual cost benefits for a homeowner from reduced utility costs AND makes a significant environmental impact!
  • To sum up, the ecoENERGY program helps homeowners to reduce energy consumption, improve comfort and access government incentive programs. Homeowners receive the additional benefits of ongoing savings on their energy bills and increased resale value of their house.The community benefits from an influx of government money and increased spending and job creation within the home improvement sector. And, we all benefit from an improved environment.Home Energy Efficiency really does pay.
  • (Review summary of process)
  • (Review eligible building types)


  • 1. Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington
    October 8, 2009
    Will Klassen
    Certified Energy Advisor
    905-540-8787 ext.17
  • 2. Vision
    A community where individual and collective actions protect future generations by balancing our environmental, social, and economic needs.
    Connecting ideas and people to facilitate sustainable living and
    realize a cleaner, healthier community.
  • 3.
  • 4. Outline
    • Why energy efficiency is important
    • 5. How energy is used in the average household
    • 6. The average household energy costs
    • 7. How the ecoENERGY program can:
    • 8. help homeowners reduce electricity costs, and
    • 9. reduce their impact on the environment
    • 10. Benefits of the ecoENERGY program to homeowners, contractors, service providers, ...and the planet!
    • 11. Briefly describe the Green Energy Act’s objectives
    • 12. Summarize the ecoENERGY process for homeowners
    • 13. Summarize the eligible building types
    • 14. Review of handout materials and the CHMC website and resources
    • 15. Questions
  • Why is energy efficiency important?
    Average cost to heat and cool an Ontario home is between
    $1,140 - $1,440 ($1,290)
    Source: Ministry of Energy
  • 16. Important because....
    Heating and cooling homes is important for two reasons:
    Significant source of greenhouse gas emissions – Average of 13 tonnes per household
    Significant cost to homeowners
  • 17. Important because....
    Personal GHG Emissionsfrom Energy Use
  • 18. Residential Fuel Sources
  • 19. Taking action is easy...
  • 20. But where to start?
  • 21. House as a System
  • 22.
  • 23. Home energy experts
    200,000 homes visited
  • 24. Certified Energy Advisors
  • 25. Problem Solvers & Solution Providers
  • 26. What does an audit consist of?
    Play Video
  • 27. The Report
  • 28. The Label
  • 29. The Grants
    Up to $10,000 in grants
  • 30. Recommended Upgrades & Installations
  • 31. Renewable Technologies
    Solar hot water $2,500
  • 32. Renewable Technologies
    Ground source heat pumps
  • 33. The Grants
    Average homeowner grant is
  • 34. Benefits
  • 35. Benefits
  • 36. Benefits
    Your Realtor Company Here
    SOLD(of course!)
    Increased home value
  • 37. Benefits
    Environment benefits
  • 38. Benefits
    Economic benefits
    Local spending = $1,575,000
  • 39. Benefits
    Ontario Audit Subsidies $118,200
    Federal & Provincial Grants$525,000
    Total $643,200
  • 40. Green Energy Act
    Increase conservation
    Boost green investment
    Create jobs
  • 41. EnerGuide for Appliances
  • 42. EnerGuide for Vehicles
  • 43. Ratings for Houses
  • 44. The Grants
    E.g. Attic insulation
    Small costs
    Big incentives
    Big environmental impact
  • 45. Home Improvements = $$$
    A new perspective on “Home Improvement”: with an environmental twist!
  • 46. Win – Win - Win
  • 47. Summary Review of the eE Process
    Get an ecoENERGY home energy evaluation
    Up to 2-hour evaluation service
    Check insulation, windows, furnace, and hot water tank
    A blower door is used to test for leaks and air quality
    Client receives a detailed (unbiased third-party?) report;
    Get the work done
    Homeowner decides which recommendations best suit their lifestyle and budget
    Homeowner has 18-months to have the work completed
    Follow up visit
    A follow up evaluation is completed, so the homeowner can qualify for grants
    A second report detailing and measuring improvements is provided to the homeowner
    Reap the rewards
    Green Venture completes all paperwork and submits them to various levels of government
    The homeowner can qualify for up to $10,000 in grants from the Federal and Provincial governments
    Homeowner benefits from grants, subsidies, lower utility bills, and increased home comfort!
  • 48. Eligible Types of Residences
    Single detached
    Row and town houses
    Multi-residential – up to 20 units
    There are other programs for new construction and commercial/industrial.
    Contact Green Venture for more details.
  • 49. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • 50. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Link from web address above: CMHC for Housing Industry Professionals and Community Groups
  • 51. Questions?