Rebates key to helping home owners go green, say Ontario Realtors

Government of Ontario created a new program in February to help Ontarians improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The province is investing $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to provide rebates for home owners who conduct an energy audit on their property and then complete retrofits recommended by the auditor.

“The announcement is good news for Ontario home owners,” said Patricia Verge, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and Realtor with Royal LePage Team Realty, brokerage in Ottawa said at the time. “Rebates are a great way to help consumers make green decisions when it comes to home retrofits or renovations.”

Between 2007 and 2011, the province administered the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) which provided home owners with up to 150 dollars towards the cost of a pre‐retrofit energy audit, and rebates of up to 5,000 dollars for retrofits. This program helped over 428,000 home owners complete energy audits and 380,000 to complete retrofits.

“The housing sector has an important role to play in helping Ontario reduce green house gas emissions,” said Verge. “This new program will help improve the energy efficiency of Ontario’s housing stock. It will also help spur innovation and create jobs in clean energy industries.”

OREA has been a strong advocate for provincial funding to help home owners improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Most recently, OREA made new rebates a central recommendation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs during the committee’s pre-budget consultations. The association’s two pronged recommendation for helping home owners reduce energy consumption also includes inserting an energy audit into a standard home inspection.

“According to our research, three quarters of home buyers make an inspection a condition of purchase,” said Ettore Cardarelli, Chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee. “Inserting an audit into a voluntary home inspection would give buyers important information about the property along with recommendations for how the new owner can improve energy efficiency of their home.”

About OREA

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 62,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 40 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com.  –  OREA

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