Saving Energy & Money: Energy Audits, Home Retrofits, and Smart Thermostats

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[UPDATE] – The Green Ontario Fund has announced a new incentive program offering a free smart thermostat, including installation. Be among the first to take part in this program.

[ORIGINAL]

Buildings, and the energy they consume, account for 49% of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions. A significant portion of building energy consumption is wasted through outdated construction techniques and insulation technology, or heating and cooling when no one is around. One solution is retrofitting – that is, the addition of new technology or features to older systems, with the intent of reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency – and saving money in the process!

Retrofitting can take the form of small, easy changes to full-on renovations. Switching to LED light bulbs and smart thermostats, plugging air leaks, adding insulation, installing low-flow shower heads, and even strategic landscaping can all be examples of a green, home retrofit. These changes range in effort and cost. However, the province of Ontario recognizes the importance of retrofitting and offers rebate programs to make the whole process easier.

How do I make the right changes for my home? – Complete an energy audit! As part of the Ontario Home Energy Conservation Incentive Program (OHECIP), participants are eligible for a rebate on their first energy audit to determine which efficiency changes are best suited to their home or building.

Up to $1,600 in retrofit incentives – OHECIP offers participants who complete an energy audit up to $1,600 in incentives for their retrofit renovations. Contact your local utility to find the program that’s right for you.

Want a smart thermostat for cheap? – One of the easiest ways to save energy (and money!) is by installing a smart thermostat. It uses sensors to monitor your usage patterns and determine the most efficient schedule of heating and cooling for your home. Energy savings can be up to 25%! OHECIP provides a $100 rebate on thermostats from Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell.

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