If you're like most Canadian homeowners, you've worried about rising energy costs over the last few years, are concerned about paying high utility bills now, and are wondering how all of these expenses will impact your budget. Keeping your home comfortable in every season can be challenging especially if you've got drafty windows or insufficient insulation. During the winter months, you may have been tempted to turn up the thermostat to take the chill off but instead put on another sweater to save a few dollars. Don't forget about those dog days of summer that are just around the corner. Are you going to crank up the air conditioning as a reprieve from the heat or open the windows hoping for a natural breeze to give you a few cool hours of comfortable sleep? Alberta Residents, help is on the way. In an effort to encourage Alberta homeowners to increase efficiency and conservation efforts, a new government agency, Energy Efficiency Alberta, has recently launched new "Alberta energy efficiency rebates." On April 28th, the agency's updated website announced details related to valuable home improvement rebates that are now available. Incentives are being offered for projects such as installing energy-efficient insulation, replacement windows and tankless hot water heaters. In addition, savings opportunities are available for upgrades to new energy-efficient appliances, fixtures and components. Take a look at some of the money-saving offers you may qualify for:

Home Improvement Rebates:

In order to qualify for home improvement rebates, you must work with a participating Alberta contractor. It's recommended that you obtain quotes from three of the registered professionals before signing a contract. Pricing and final rebate totals will be based on an estimate of your home's current energy needs, and each contractor may make different recommendations. You will not be eligible for a rebate if you do the work yourself. Insulation As your home ages, the insulation in your home will compact and become less efficient. Today's new products and technologies offer various types of insulation and installation methods that will reduce energy costs, improve comfort and add value to your home at resale. Energy Efficiency Alberta's insulation rebates include:
  • Attic
  • Main walls
  • Basement
  • Half walls
A maximum rebate total for the installation of new insulation in your home is $3,500. You can use these types of insulation:
  • Loose fill
  • Blown-in
  • Rolls or batts
  • Spray foam
  • Rigid board
Your contractor will calculate the change in R-value (resistance to transfer heat) before and after the new product installation. The more energy savings achieved, the more rebate will be earned. Windows Even if your old windows are keeping the rain and snow from getting into your home, it's pretty likely they aren't keeping the wind out or the heat/cold air in—and that means you're wasting energy. As windows are exposed to varying temperatures and weather conditions, they start to wear. You may notice discolouration of the wood (a good indicator of water damage), or the window frames are rotting (the wood is spongy), or they don't open and close properly. A professional evaluation can determine if your windows can be repaired or if replacement is needed. Again, Energy Efficiency Alberta recommends three estimates to obtain the best pricing and service. Installing new energy-efficient windows can qualify you for a maximum of $1,500 in rebates. Not all types of replacement windows meet the incentive requirements. You'll need to upgrade to:
  • Energy Star® rated—windows must meet Energy Star® guidelines for performance and energy efficiency as certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. These vary by climate zone.
  • Triple pane—three panes of glass are sandwiched together with high-insulating Argon or Krypton gas filling the space between the panes. They're often built with stronger frames to hold the extra weight and more durable hardware.
  • Low-E (Low-emittance) coating—uncoated glass has a very low U-value and allows heat and cold to easily transfer through it. Treating it with a low-emittance coating allows short-wavelength sunlight through but reflects long-wavelength radiation. In winter, this means heat loss is reduced and the sun's heat stays inside. In summer, harmful UV rays are blocked while still allowing natural light through.
  • Argon gas filled—insulates better than air, so filling the space between glass panes provides a more efficient window. Triple pane windows with an extra layer of Argon gas significantly reduces heat loss.
Rebates are determined by window size, frame style, number of window panes and energy efficiency improvement (U-value) from the existing window. Your contractor can calculate the total rebate eligibility. Tankless Hot Water Heater Have you ever jumped into the shower on a cold, winter morning expecting to be comforted by the nice, warm water spray but realized too late that your family had already used up all the hot water? Upgrade to a tankless hot water heater and you'll never have to take a cold shower again. Instead of holding hot water in a storage tank, cold water is heated on demand with a gas burner or electric element. Energy Star® demand systems require less space, can be 34-percent more efficient than traditional storage tank systems for low-demand households, and save approximately $100 per year. Lower operating costs and a life expectancy of more than 20 years (compared to 10 to 15 years) are additional benefits you can expect when upgrading to a new tankless hot water heater system. When you use a participating contractor to install your new unit, you may be eligible for up to $1,000 in Alberta energy efficiency rebates. Appliance Rebates Not ready to do a contractor-assisted home improvement yet? You can still take advantage of online rebates being offered to Albertans with the purchase of qualifying refrigerators, washing machines and smart thermostats. Applying is simple:
  • Purchase a qualifying appliance or thermostat.
  • Complete the online application with pertinent details.
  • Upload your receipt.
  • Receive a rebate cheque in the mail.
Refrigerator You may not realize that your old refrigerator is an "energy hog" and that no other home appliance uses more electricity. New technologies introduced in the home appliance market are now even more efficient than Energy Star® standards. Earn a $100 rebate for the purchase of a qualifying CEE Tier 3 refrigerator. Washing Machine Has your washing machine seen better days? Is it making a strange noise or do your clothes seem a little dingy these days? It may be time for an upgrade, and Energy Efficiency Alberta wants to help. Receive up to $100 for the purchase of a CEE Tier 3 washing machine and save even more with the highest energy and water savings on the market today. Trusted brand names models from manufacturers such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Samsung, LG, GE and more are included, so you can be sure you're getting quality products. Smart Thermostat Another online rebate will be making its way to your mailbox if you purchase a qualifying smart thermostat. Over the years, you may have upgraded your thermostat to a programmable style that allows you to control the temperature by the time of day. You may already try to save money by lowering the heat at night when you're sleeping or when you're away from the house. While this can work fairly well, it takes time and more energy to bring the home back up to a comfortable temperature if things change. Upgrade to a smart thermostat and your home will always be at the perfect temperature. These state-of-the-art components learn from your actions, utilize web apps to control the unit remotely, self-adjust for high humidity and overly dry conditions, track energy use and allow you to see what your cost savings will be for each adjustment. You can collect a $100 rebate with the purchase of select Honeywell, Nest or Ecobee3 smart thermostats, and watch your heating and cooling bills go down. There's no better time to save money on home improvements than now. Take advantage of rebate-earning, energy efficiency projects before they're gone. Visit Energy Efficiency Alberta for instant savings on LED bulbs, light fixtures, dimmers low-flow faucets and more. Posted by Liv Real Estate on
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Typical NDP. If I get up off the couch and do the work myself they have no interest in helping me. Only if I let someone else do the work will they offer me money.

Posted by GM on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 at 6:58am

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