Think green when up­dat­ing

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Recreation & Investment Properties -

Ren­o­va­tions to your recre­ation prop­erty that make it more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient can save you money on util­i­ties, and ben­e­fit the en­vi­ron­ment by re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions.

They also can also re­sult in an ecoENERGY Retro­fit grant of up to $5,000.

The pro­gram through Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canada (NRC) is aimed at home­own­ers but also ap­plies to recre­ation prop­er­ties such as va­ca­tion home, cot­tages, cabin, chalets, etc. To qual­ify, the prop­erty must be a fully ser­viced, four-sea­son prop­erty as de­fined by the Na­tional Build­ing Code, parts 2 and 9.

Newly built va­ca­tion homes that have been oc­cu­pied for less than six months do not qual­ify, nor do highrise con­do­mini­ums of more than three sto­ries, since they typ­i­cally have dif­fer­ent heat, wa­ter and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems than a low-rise build­ing.

Be­fore start­ing any projects, your recre­ation prop­erty will need to un­dergo an en­ergy as­sess­ment by a en­ergy ad­viser who has been cer­ti­fied by NRC. The ad­viser will then pro­vide you with a printed En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency Eval­u­a­tion Re­port that in­cludes pos­si­ble im­prove­ments to make your va­ca­tion home more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, and the amount of grant you could qual­ify for.

The to­tal grant will de­pend on what im­prove­ments you make, with those that achieve the most en­ergy sav­ings hav­ing the high­est dol­lar val­ues.

Once ren­o­va­tions are com­plete, a sec­ond en­ergy as­sess­ment is done, at which time the en­ergy ad­viser will pre­pare the grant ap­pli­ca­tion for your sig­na­ture and then for­ward it to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment on your be­half.

Some pos­si­ble up­grades in­clude up­dat­ing a va­ca­tion home with a new En­ergy Star qual­i­fied high-ef­fi­ciency fur­nace and air con­di­tion­ing equip­ment, or in­stalling En­ergy Star cer­ti­fied win­dows and doors.

Other items that qual­ify in­clude the in­stal­la­tion of wa­ter­sav­ing toi­lets, adding a grey-wa­ter heat re­cov­ery sys­tem or so­lar wa­ter heater, and even im­prov­ing in­su­la­tion in ceil­ings, walls, base­ments or foun­da­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ecoac­tion.gc.ca/homes.

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