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New incentives help homeowners and the environment
by: NC
(NC) - It just got easier for Canadians to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change thanks to a new federal incentive that provides extra motivation for improving the energy efficiency of your home.

Beginning this fall, homeowners who undertake renovations may be eligible for an incentive of up to $3,348 if they can demonstrate that the project has made their home more energy efficient. The incentive is part of the EnerGuide for Houses Program, launched by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency in 1998 to help homeowners identify and undertake energy efficiency upgrades.

With the EnerGuide for Houses service, an independent energy advisor visits the home, performs a basement-to-attic energy evaluation, calculates an energy efficiency rating and recommends measures to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a healthy living environment. After the homeowner has completed some or all of the recommended upgrades, the advisor performs a follow-up evaluation and determines the new energy efficiency rating.

Among the more commonly recommended improvements are caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows, upgrading insulation and replacing old, inefficient heating systems. In addition to reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, such measures are good for the environment - the less energy a home consumes, the fewer greenhouse gas emissions it produces.

Now, the Government of Canada has introduced an incentive that will allow eligible homeowners to recoup some of their investment when they implement improvements recommended by an EnerGuide for Houses advisor. The amount of the incentive is calculated based on the home's rating before and after upgrades are completed - the greater the improvement, the larger the incentive.

The incentive is part of the government's strategy for implementing the Kyoto Protocol, under which Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Homeowners who renovated after using the EnerGuide for Houses service achieve average energy savings of 32 percent and greenhouse gas reductions of 2.2 tonnes per year, putting these families well on their way to meeting the government's challenge to Canadians to reduce their personal production of greenhouse gases by one tonne per year.

For more information about the incentive program or to locate a licensed EnerGuide for Houses agent in your area, visit energuideforhouses.gc.ca or call 1 800 387-2000 (toll-free) or 995-2943 in the National Capital Region.

- News Canada

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