Should You Wait on EcoEnergy Announcement ?

Fortunately for the economy, it looks like the Harper government has decided to renew the EcoEnergy program in some form, and put up to 400 million in grant dollars back into the long running program.  Construction and renovation are Canada's primary economic driving force, and this kind of stimulus has two beneficial effects.  It helps homeowners save money on their energy consumption, and reduces our environmental footprint, as well as provides vital stimulus to the recovering Canadian economy.

Most studies show that for every dollar spent in the construction sector, there are 10 more dollars spent in associated industries.  Take a look around at your family and friends.  How many people do you know who are contractors, or sell carpet, furniture, architects, interior designers, or simply work at Home Depot or Rona ?

While the details have not been announced yet, many people ask us if they should wait until they are announced before upgrading their attic insulation ?  There are two ways to look at the answer with regards to attic insulation.  If you are simply considering an attic insulation upgrade, then the answer is a definite NO.  Because it will cost you several hundred dollars for the required audit, and follow up audit, you could be putting that money into your attic upgrade, which average less than  $1000.

Our on site estimator will do an analysis of your attic, and tell you everything you need to know about how much you have, and how much you need.  Also, we are specialists in this industry, where as auditors provide a valuable service, but they do not "specialize" in insulation and ventillation of your attic.  Even if you decide to go with an energy evaluation, you can get the pre-evaluation now, get the work done, and get the follow up evaluation after the grant is formally announced, and still get the benefit of the upgrades, plus some possible grant money.  Please contact your local authorized auditor for details on this.  There are three authorized auditors in Calgary: VerdaTech Energy, AmeriSpec Canada, and Atco Gas.

A second issue, is the inflation of pricing that will occur when the program is finally formalized.  Right now, prices are relatively stable, and we are offering some very competitive packages on attic upgrades.  If you wait until the fur hits the fan in the fall, when it's getting cold, labor and material prices will invariably climb, as well as extended and less reliable booking times.  As the weather starts to get cold in the fall, it will become more difficult to book an audit, and an insulation contractor, and it will probably cost you more.

Please take the time to contact the authorized auditors and discuss the ins and outs of the grant program system, they are the professionals in that area.

VerdaTech Energy, AmeriSpec Canada, and Atco Gas.

Renovation Tax Credit Stimulus

Effective Jan. 27, any Canadian who spends money on home renovations will be eligible to receive up to $1,350 in tax relief, thanks to the new Home Renovation Tax Credit proposed in the Government's Economic Action Plan.

"Each time a Canadian invests in home renovations, they are helping to create jobs in construction and building supplies in their own community," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "By providing an incentive for Canadians to invest in their homes, we are also encouraging them to invest in local jobs."

To highlight the kind of projects that will be eligible under this plan, the Minister visited a Victoria-area home renovation site and met with a local contractor who will be better able to protect and create jobs thanks to the additional home renovation projects that will be encouraged through this tax credit.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit will provide a one-year, temporary 15% income tax credit on eligible home renovation expenditures for work performed, or goods acquired, between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010. The credit may be claimed on eligible expenditures exceeding $1,000 but not more than $10,000.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit is one of several initiatives designed to help homeowners and homebuyers contained within the Government's Economic Action Plan. Budget 2009 also announced $300 million over two years for homeowners looking to make their homes more energy efficient.

This government is taking steps to help Canadians control their energy costs and keep more money in their pockets. Minister Raitt also announced today the Government of Canada has reintroduced legislation to modernize the Energy Efficiency Act, and has made a series of improvements to Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations. By 2010, the regulatory changes alone will allow Canadians to save $530 million in energy costs.

Before homeowners, homebuyers, and local construction and building supply workers can benefit from these new initiatives, Parliament must pass the 2009-2010 Federal Budget.