The EnerGuide for Houses program is a professional home energy evaluation service. This is a tool for homeowners to help identify cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades. The Canadian government subsidizes the cost of the evaluation by up to $150, reducing the cost to the homeowner, which averages $150 to $175.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recently reported that, for 2003, 54,000 initial "A" evaluations were completed. The agency anticipates that 30 percent of these initial evaluations will complete a "B" evaluation after some of the recommendations to improve energy efficiency have been made within the allowable 18-month timeframe from the initial evaluation.

To date, NRCan has issued 3,500 homeowner grants with the average amount of the grant being $650. The grants range between $116 to $2,800. This grant typically covers 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the upgrade job. The most upgrade potential is in houses built before 1980.

Typical upgrades include furnace replacement, insulation, air sealing, and windows. The "best bets" include a combination of furnace upgrade, basement insulation, and topping up the insulation in the attic, as well as professional air sealing. One-third of the rebates were attributed to a more energy-efficient furnace installation and two-thirds toward a furnace installation along with other upgrades.

NRCan has indicated that a new part of the program for 2004 will have energy evaluators recording data on the type of lighting used in the home. Provisions also have been included to allow wood heating as a primary heating source.

For more information on the program, visit

Publication date: 07/12/2004