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Discussion Starter #1
I just received the first of two cheques coming to me under this program.

For anyone unfamilair with the program, you improve the energy efficiency of your home in one of several approved ways, and the government gives you pre determined grant amount. I know the federal level of this program has been suspended, but several provinces have kept their side going.

Everything went smoothly for me, and I recommend taking advantage of this program while it lasts, in whatever form it may still be available.

My question however, is what other programs exist like this? Almost no one I speak with has knowledge of this program, or how incredably lucrative it was. I replaced windows, increased attic insulation from R-12 to R-50 and increased the air sealing levels in my home and received significant grants. But these upgrades would certainly have paid for themselves in a few short years anyway.

Right now I'm looking at the CMHC Green Home Premium Refund.
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/moloin/upload/CMHC_Green_Home_Form.pdf


Actions to reduce home energy consumption and increase efficiency are to be applauded. Where you have paid your lender for the cost of the lender’s CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance or had it added to your mortgage AND you have used the CMHC insured funds to purchase an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may be eligible to receive a 10% mortgage loan insurance premium refund and a premium refund for your longer amortization period (if applicable). Just fill out this application by following the steps outlined below and send it to CMHC.


Anyone tried this? 10% of my CMHC loan is a few hundred bucks. Any more (relatively) easy to obtain free money out there?
 

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Similar programs are available in the US for home energy improvements. Another innovative program that I'd love to see implemented in Canada is NuRide:

http://www.nuride.com/nuride/main/main.jsp

This program gives you rewards (similar to a rewards card) for carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, or telecommuting. This is a fantastic idea, although I wonder how they avoid fraud/abuse.

I do take advantage of the tax credit for public transportation, but I think the rewards card approach could be more effective.
 

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I did the home energy audit when we first moved into this house, nearly 10 years ago now.

We also looked fairly seriously at solar power. I was (peripherally) involved (in a previous career) with a very large solar power commercial application. I couldn't get the numbers to work for me though, at that point in my life (too much uncertainty about my long-term horizon).
 

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Last year I got the owner of a 24 unit townhouse complex to go for the Eco Energy Grant. He got back $68,000. We changed over 300 windows, we insulated all the units to R-50, changed some doors, caulked and sealed all units. The cost of the renovations was about $100,000 so he got about 60% back.

Now that's sweet :)
 

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It was an amazing program - I ended up getting about $8000 dollars. I didn't track my spending extremely closely, but I estimate that I spent around $12000 - new furnace/water heater, new doors, a few windows, complete reinsulation (that was the most lucrative part).

I did all of the insulation work myself.

My monthly gas bill (equal billing) went from $158/month to $58/month.

My house is much more comfortable as well.

A great program, hopefully there will be something to replace it at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Similar programs are available in the US for home energy improvements. Another innovative program that I'd love to see implemented in Canada is NuRide:

http://www.nuride.com/nuride/main/main.jsp

This program gives you rewards (similar to a rewards card) for carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, or telecommuting. This is a fantastic idea, although I wonder how they avoid fraud/abuse.

I do take advantage of the tax credit for public transportation, but I think the rewards card approach could be more effective.

Man, that nuride program looks sweet. I could probably max it every day except dec jan and feb.

MoneyGal said:
We also looked fairly seriously at solar power. I was (peripherally) involved (in a previous career) with a very large solar power commercial application. I couldn't get the numbers to work for me though, at that point in my life (too much uncertainty about my long-term horizon).
I'm planning on putting in two solat hot water panels this summer to augment my oil fired water tank. From what I've researched, I can construct ones out of copper tubing and aluminum flashing for a fraction of the cost and ~80% the efficiency of commercial ones of similar design (not the evacuated tube ones). Makes the commercial ones very unattractive, even with the grants that I could have accessed with the ecoEnergy program.

Yesterday 03:22 PM
 

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Another grant I have gotten for one of my clients was a grant for a building facade. The city of Toronto has a grant for up to 50% of the costs to improve the street frontage. That time I got them $80,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Roboto, did you follow a guide on how to create that solar hot water heater, or did you improvise?
There is a good store of information indexed at builditsolar.com

Specifically, the instructions here; http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/CopperAlumCollector/CopperAlumCol.htm

are what I intend to follow. A solar hot water system to augment an existing hot water tank is a much less daunting task to do yourself then you might think. All you need is one or two 4x8' panels detailed in that link, a pump to circulate the water through them ( which can be turned on by a small solar panels, so the pump will only run when sun is shining ) and an insulated tank to hold the sun heated water with a big coil of pipe in it to run your incoming house water through to preheat it. Check local code, a sign off may be required in your area, and if you plan on using an antifreeze solution in your panels (increased heat transfer efficiency ) you need a double walled heat exchange coil to prevent contamination. The antifreeze is not worth the extra complexity in my opinion, put in one more panel instead if you need more heat.

I plan to have my next (and hopefully final ) home built, and use a garage/shed with one wall facing south covered in these panels to provide in floor heating.
 
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