July 11, 2005

Energy efficiency incentive program extended to rental, co-op properties

OTTAWA, ONT-Owners of low-rise residential properties and assisted housing may now be able to receive cash incentives for making their buildings more energy-efficient. Amendments to Natural Resources Canada's EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive will eliminate the program's restriction to owner-occupied units, extending eligibility to rental properties and co-op housing. The changes also include incentives for installing high-efficiency gas- or oil-fired central heating systems. In the case of assisted housing, the amendments will allow the property owner's share of costs for the EnerGuide for Houses (EGH) service to be reimbursed. This reimbursement would be limited to $100 per dwelling and $50,000 per housing authority or assisted-housing operator. To be eligible, the assisted-housing operator or housing authority must guarantee that at least 50% of the dwelling receiving an EGH evaluation will actually be retrofitted within 18 months. The amendments will also allow for a direct grant of up to $100 to all applicants who purchase and install Energy Star(r)-qualified high-efficiency furnaces and boilers, including oil-fired furnaces whose annual fuel use efficiency is at least 85%. This grant should help stimulate the market for these types of products and encourage property owners to complete the maximum number of recommendations contained in their EGH evaluation report. Finally, the total grant amount payable to eligible recipients over the life of the EGH program has been increased to $100,000.

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