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Break Your Mortgage & Be Eco-Friendly

July 29, 2011

Upgrading your home to make it more energy efficient can help you save BIG over the years ahead. And you can make those savings even BIGGER by taking advantage of the ecoENERGY Retrofit program. In operation since 2007, this federal government program has now been extended to March 31, 2012, with maximum cumulative grants of $5,000.

Here’s how it works. An ecoENERGY Retrofit grant can be used to upgrade heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, insulation, air sealing, windows/doors/skylights and water conservationin most houses, including four-season recreational properties. It’s a 4-step process:

  1. Register with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and receive a registration number.
  2. Have a pre-retrofit evaluation done by a local service organization licensed by NRCan.
  3. Do the retrofits outlined in the evaluation and keep your receipts.
  4. Have a post-retrofit evaluation done by March 31, 2012.

You have to show all your receipts to your energy advisor during the final evaluation to prove that you purchased and installed eligible upgrades after June 6, 2011, and had a pre-retrofit evaluation.

The maximum cumulative ecoENERGY Retrofit grant is $5,000, which includes all applications you’ve made since April 2007. Once the post-retrofit evaluation is done, you should receive a grant cheque within 90 days. And for even greater savings, you can apply for complementary incentive programs in certain provinces.

Of course, the big question is, “Where am I going to get the money to do these upgrades?” Like so many worthwhile investments, the ecoENERGY Retrofit program requires you to spend money in order to make money. The good news is that you may be able to fund your improvements with the equity you’ve built up in your house.

Ask your mortgage advisor to review your situation to see if you can benefit from refinancing at today’s low rates. It’s possible that you can enjoy a more energy-efficient home and receive your grant, without increasing your mortgage payments!