An energy audit is the first step in pursuing efficiency rebates and provides homeowners with expert advice in making your home more comfortable, efficient as well as airtight. The test is conducted on site by a registered Energy Advisor and will take between 1.5-2 hours to complete (depending on the complexity of your home).
The Energy Advisor begins by measuring the house, locating types and sizes of windows and measuring the enclosed volume of the home. Following the measuring on the exterior and interior of the home, all the windows and exterior doors are closed and the blower door diagnostic tools are assembled. Residents can also stay inside the house during the test.
During the testing, the manometer measures the pressure within the home caused by a fan lowering the air pressure in the building to -50 Pascals. The higher pressure from outside is then forced through the cracks or openings, determining where air leakage is located throughout the home.
Following the initial tests required for the Sample Energy Audit Report, the Energy Advisor can pressurize the interior space and walk throughout the building with the homeowner to locate locations where there is air leakage. The ideal time to address these issues of air leakage is during the construction phase of a renovation, prior to the installation of drywall, where it can be properly addressed and fixed. Typical locations of air leakage include:
Baseboards, window and door frames, potlights, plumbing penetration, electrical outlets and electrical panels.
2 weeks following the completion of the blower door test, a Sample Energy Audit Report to assess recommended upgrade opportunities, airtightness and much more is provided to the clients in order to provide direction for proceeding renovations.
Various rebate programs are available to those in Ontario, such as the Canada Greener Homes Grant, Enbridge Home Energy Rebate Program, Federal HST Rebate as well as financing such as the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). In order to claim these rebates, an energy audit must be conducted prior to renovation by a registered Energy Advisor, as well as following the completion of the renovation to report the level of improvement made through the upgrades. In addition to this, proof of the types of upgrades provided in the renovation (in the form of receipts) is necessary in claiming the rebates.
The Canada Greener Homes Grant provides a rebate of up to $5000 and $600 towards the cost of the energy audits.
The Enbridge Home Energy Rebate Program also provides a rebate of up to $5000 and $550 towards the cost of the energy audits.
The Federal HST Rebate allows homeowners a rebate of up to $16,080 on HST paid on their newly built and 70% or more renovated homes.
Trish Long, a Registered energy Auditor from Goldfinch Energy recommends, “getting an energy audit done during the planning phase of a project, because an energy advisor can find things that are unique to your home and present opportunities that might enable you to have a higher performing home, and more rebates as well”.
Reasons for wanting to achieve a higher airtightness may include:
- Reducing your homes overall energy consumption
- Eliminating drafts that reduce occupant comfort
- Avoid moisture or condensation issues
- Determining how much mechanical ventilation to create ideal indoor conditions for optimal occupant comfort
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more from our TABC Blog!