Renovate. Rebate. Relax.

Published on May 10, 2019

Renovate. Rebate. Relax.

For a moment, let’s consider a family of four living in a twenty-two year old home in southern Ontario. Their home is tidy, open and welcoming, but is it healthy? It has a few quirks that have been causing them some discomfort during their day-to-day life. Most of the hallways in the home have been drafty since they moved in, the master bedroom is always either too hot or too cold, and just last year near the end of winter, their attic leaked for the first time. These issues keep the entire family from relaxing, and they know they need to renovate, but they don’t know where to start (perhaps with a home energy audit?).

After drawing the line at the leaky basement, the family agreed that they needed to take action and improve their home, and that consulting with a renovation expert might be a good place to start. Also, the upfront costs of making substantial home improvements had them a bit worried, so they decided to consult someone who could also help them determine which renovations were eligible for rebates, and which of the eligible renovations would be the best for them to aim towards in their home.

The family called around to different contractors and did some digging for rebate and renovation experts online, and after a bit of searching they ended up contacting BSG through for a free phone consultation. This introduced them to the benefits of having an energy audit (aka an energy assessment) done, and they were excited to hear that they could even qualify for rebates to help cover the cost of the actual energy audit itself.

An Energy Audit Makes Home Improvement Easy and Affordable

For homeowners in Ontario, an energy audit unlocks a number of different pathways for home renovation, allowing the homeowner to make an informed decision that weighs all factors involved with making energy efficiency improvements and saving money through rebates.

Since an energy audit is more about assessing how well a home is performing in terms of energy efficiency, and it determines the most cost-effective way that energy efficiency could be improved through home renovation, it is more accurate to think of it as an energy assessment rather than an “audit”.

Additionally, an energy audit assesses a home beyond just energy efficiency. It provides the homeowner with an assessment of their home’s comfort, health and safety, and it includes a detailed pathway for how they could be improved. With this information, the homeowner can clearly see all of their home’s renovation options, potential rebates, and utility bill savings laid out in front of them, allowing them to choose the renovations that are the best fit for their needs.

For the family of four in the twenty-two year old home for example, air leaks and insufficient attic insulation were major contributors towards their discomfort at home; but they only became aware of this because it was discovered and presented to them during the energy audit that was performed on their home.

Top Reasons to Renovate

BSG: The Rebate and Renovation Experts

Before having their home assessed by a Registered Energy Advisor (REA), the family had over-estimated the cost of renovating their home to be more comfortable, and they were surprised to learn that their attic insulation was causing a big issue - and that it was affordable for them to improve. Not only was it contributing to the drafts and inconsistent temperature in their master bedroom, it was also contributing to water leaking into their attic because it lacked air sealing. The REA also identified the furnace as being another culprit to their lack of comfort and unnecessarily high energy bills.

With this in mind, along with having learned that their home could qualify for rebates from the new Home Efficiency Rebate program by making airtightness improvements, the family decided to contact Great Northern Insulation to improve their home’s air sealing, and to install attic insulation to help prevent ice damming. They also contacted a qualified roofer to make sure there was no long-term structural damage that needed to be repaired, and a qualified HVAC contractorto install a high-efficiency furnace.

With the information they obtained from our Registered Energy Advisors, the family of four was able to save money on renovation costs by targeting only the most cost-effective and rebate-eligible upgrades - making them happy about their decision to consult a renovation expert and a rebate expert before they started their home renovations.

Renovate Towards Comfort and Financial Freedom

Armed with BSG’s advice and the information provided in their home’s energy audit, the family chose renovations that would not only provide them with a hefty rebate, but renovations that would also improve their home’s comfort, health and safety. Their final renovation plan included: adding attic insulation, improving airtightness (including fixing the leaks in the attic), and upgrading their furnace. They were not able to receive a rebate to repair structural damage to their roof, but they can rest easier knowing that they have taken measures to prevent it from happening again.

Once the family had all of their renovations completed, they had another energy audit performed to assess their home’s new level of energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety; and to complete the final step of their rebate application process.

Since the family is a customer of Enbridge Gas, they were eligible for rebates from the Home Efficiency Rebate program - (Union Gas customers are also eligible). Through this program homeowners can receive rebates for improving the energy efficiency of their home, by upgrading things such as their home’s: airtightness, insulation, windows/doors, and HVAC system. The energy audits we performed for the family not only helped them qualify for a hefty Home Efficiency Rebate, but it also help guide and influence their renovation choices towards the most cost-effective options.

With all of their renovations completed, and their rebate cheque in the mail, the family of four had already noticed a few changes in their home. The drafts in the hallways were a thing of the past, the master bedroom was staying at a comfortable and consistent temperature - even despite the unruly weather outside - and their last utility bill was dramatically less money than it was for the same month last year.

The family also had an idea of when they would see a financial return on their home renovation investments, as each energy audit includes an estimate of how long each renovation would take to save enough money in utility bills and rebates in order to cover their initial cost.

This removed much of the stress that the family said they normally experience during home repairs or home improvements, as it was made much easier for them to budget their time and finances towards making their home more comfortable and energy efficient, and for it to function properly and consistently without problems.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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