Getting a home energy assessment from a registered energy advisor is the first step to understanding your home’s energy use.
A home energy assessment is usually required in order to access rebates, incentives and financing programs to help make your home more efficient and comfortable.
A Home Energy Assessment is carried out by a registered advisor (REA). It is the only way to accurately determine your home’s current energy efficiency and make informed decisions on how best to improve it.
What is a Home Energy Assessment?
A home energy assessment is a study into the efficiency of your building. A registered energy advisor will perform a series of tests designed to pinpoint air leaks, test insulation levels and gauge the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems.
The goal of a home energy assessment is to learn how efficiently your house is using energy and provide guidance on how to reduce the amount of energy your home consumes to make it more efficient and comfortable to live in. Some of the aspects a home energy advisor will look at include:
- Air leaks and drafts
- Gaps around doors and windows
- Indoor air quality
- Insulation levels
- HVAC equipment
How It Works
A registered energy advisor will conduct a top-to-bottom assessment of your home, inspecting your home’s insulation, heating and cooling systems and overall home energy use to detect sources of energy loss. When the assessment is complete, you will receive:
- An EnerGuide Rating Label, which rates your home’s energy consumption and compares your home’s performance to a typical new house. The label will also show you the proportion of energy consumed by your home’s heating, cooling, ventilation and other equipment and appliances.
- A Homeowner Information Sheet, which provides information on how your EnerGuide Rating was calculated and a detailed report on how your home uses energy.
- A Renovation Upgrade Report, which provides you with a customized action plan to improve the energy efficiency of your home, including:
- Recommended energy efficiency upgrades
- Potential home energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- Health and safety information
- Energy-saving tips
How to Prepare for a Home Energy Assessment
Before booking your Home Energy Assessment make sure that your home is eligible for assessment. To be eligible make sure that:
- Your home is habitable.
- Your home isn’t under renovation during the audit.
- All openings are sealed — windows, doors, attic knee-walls, recessed lighting, etc.
- If you have a fireplace, don’t use it within 24 hours of your evaluation, and make sure you close the dampers.
- All areas of your home are accessible to the advisor.
- Bonus points if you have your property tax bill and roll number on-hand!
Generally, assessments will take 2.5-3 hours. It’s required that the legal homeowner be present for the duration of the assessment.
Following Up on Your Assessment
If you have completed your retrofit and are curious about its energy impact, you can schedule a follow-up energy audit. During this visit, a Registered Energy Advisor will re-evaluate your home, and provide you with a new, updated EnerGuide rating.
Please note that if you are applying for a rebate or incentives program (more information below), a follow-up energy audit will be required.
Who Needs a Follow-Up Energy Assessment?
If you have received an EnerGuide home energy assessment and completed the recommended retrofits, you may be eligible for a follow-up audit to assess your new energy efficiency. This follow-up visit should take approximately 1 hour. After your follow-up audit, you will receive an updated EnerGuide rating, as well as estimations for your home’s:
- Reduction in energy use (and cost savings!)
- Carbon reduction
During your follow-up assessment, all renovations must be completed. Your advisor will need to receive copies of invoices, receipts, or manufacturer’s literature as it relates to your retrofits. As well as this, your new doors and windows will require Energy Star labels.
Please note that if you are applying for a rebate or incentives program, a follow-up energy assessment may be required.
How Much Does an Energy Audit Cost?
Initial energy audit: $500 – $700
Follow-up (post-upgrade) audit: $200 – $300
If you are eligible for an incentive program, the program may refund, in full or in part, the cost of your audits.
Rebates and Incentive Programs
There are several rebates, incentives and financing programs available to help offset the cost of home energy upgrades. More exhaustive information can be found on the Better Homes Ottawa website.
Canada Greener Homes Grant
The Federal Government is providing grants of up to $5,600 to help homeowners make where they live more energy-efficient. Learn more.
Canada Greener Homes Loan
The Federal Government is providing interest-free loans of up to $40,000 per household to help finance eligible energy retrofits. Learn more.
Better Homes Ottawa – Loan Program
CMHC Green Home
Tthe CMHC Green Home program offers a partial refund of up to 25% on the cost of mortgage loan insurance. Learn more.
Smart Thermostat Program
Enbridge Gas customers can receive an instant $75 rebate towards a qualifying smart thermostat purchase.ore energy-efficient. Learn more.
Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate
Enbridge Gas customers who make energy-efficient upgrades can receive up to $5,000 in financial incentives. Learn more.
Home Winterproofing Program
Income-qualifying Enbridge Gas customers can receive, free-of-charge, energy-saving improvements such as insulation and draft proofing. Learn more.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program
Financial support may be available if you are behind on your electricity or natural gas bill and face having your service disconnected. Learn more.