On April 28, Energy Efficiency Alberta launched a brand new Home Improvement Rebates program that could save you money every month in energy costs. Not only that, you could get reimbursed for your investment – up to $3,500.
The Home Improvement Rebates program is a new initiative to help homeowners reduce energy consumption by installing home improvement products or buying certain energy efficient appliances. Not all of them are eligible for the program, but examples include insulation, water heaters, LED lights, timers, and programmable thermostats.
I think this is a useful program for a couple of reasons.
The new Home Improvement Rebates program actually has three different types of rebates you can get. The first is a rebate for having certain energy saving appliances or systems installed in your home. You have to use a certified Alberta-based contractor, but if you do, you could save yourself thousands of dollars in installation costs by going through the program.
The second type of rebate is an online rebate. Certain appliances, including refrigerators, thermostats, and washer/dryers qualify for online rebates. That means that even if you don’t have something installed by a certified contractor, you could get a rebate just for purchasing it.
The program also includes a third type of rebate, which is an instant rebate. Some products – ones that you and I use all the time – are now going to have “instant” rebates which just means that they have a built in reduced cost. You can now buy “LED lights, programmable thermostats, water-saving devices, smart power bars, and heavy-duty timers” and receive instant rebates at certain retail stores (Source).
There’s a lot more detail to the home improvements rebate program than I cover here. If you’re interested, they have a web page that can answer all of your questions: https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/home-improvement/.
Another offering by Energy Efficiency Alberta is the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program. With this program, you don’t even have to purchase anything – the products are completely free.
If you qualify, an installer from Energy Efficiency Alberta will upgrade old appliances or products to new, more energy efficient ones. You’ll get to keep any products they install free of charge. Additionally, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having a reduced energy bill. That’s incredible news for homeowners who need to upgrade their homes but can’t because of the cost.
Not everyone will qualify, but it’s worth registering so that you can see if you do. The process involves having someone come out to your home to walk through it and determine if there are opportunities to upgrade to more energy-efficient products.
To register, click this link and follow the instructions. If you’re curious about the list of no-charge products, you can review it here: https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/residential-no-charge/products/.
I touched on this a little earlier, but one of the reasons it’s so important to consider upgrading your home is that doing so now may help you resell later. No one can predict the market, of course, but the reality is that a lot of homebuyers are looking for ways to cut costs and save energy. Energy-efficient homes cost less to heat, cool, and maintain. That makes them more desirable.
Energy efficiency can be as simple as changing the lighting choices. LED lights are popular and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent (traditional) light bulbs. They use less energy, also, which is the main reason so many people are buying them. They do cost more money than regular lights, but the savings is realized over time.
Upgraded, energy-efficient appliances are a good investment for your family as well as for the future sale of your home. Like lights, they will last longer and use less energy. As an example, you can buy washers that use half the amount of water that less efficient ones use. That wasn’t an option not too long ago, but in recent years, companies like Energy Star have come up with ways to make appliances more efficient. Less water and less energy consumption can mean more money in our pockets as homeowners.
There’s no reason to keep your house at the same temperature all day unless you’re always home. Instead, you can program a thermostat to lower or raise the temperature in your home at certain times of the day. For example, in the summer, you can set the thermostat to a higher temperature when you leave for work, and then have it automatically begin cooling the house as you’re driving home. This is one of the easiest, yet often overlooked, ways to save energy and money.
Many people have programmable thermostats in their homes already, but just don’t know how to use them. If you’re one of those people, I get it! Some of them are really tricky to figure out. But it’s worth finding out how to program your thermostat so that you are not wasting energy. Here’s a very useful article that explains how to program most thermostats.
The reason people tend to shy away from making the necessary upgrades is that these products and appliances can cost way more than people typically want to spend. Fortunately, the new Home Improvement Rebate program should help with some of that cost. If you’ve previously considered upgrading but decided not to, the new program might be worth looking into.
What do you think about the new Home Improvement Rebates program?
Ask Jen: Do you have a question about home buying, selling, or home ownership in general? I’d love to answer your question and feature it here on my blog. Just send your question to me via my contact page, or connect with me on Facebook. I’ll be publishing a new post every week.