General

What is a building enclosure?

What is a Home Energy Assessment?

What can I expect when participating in the Home Energy Assessment?

How long do I have to complete the Home Energy Assessment?

Can I get an extension to my 12 month time period?

I am looking to buy a house – am I able to have a Home Energy Assessment before I buy the house?

How much does a Home Energy Assessment cost?

How do I book a Home Energy Assessment?

 

Home Energy Assessment

Why do I require both a pre- and post-retrofit Home Energy Assessment?

Do I have to make any preparations before the energy advisor visits my home?

What happens if I lose my receipts?

 

Past Participants

I‘ve had an energy assessment done on my home before – can I have another?

I had my initial Home Energy Assessment (D-audit) before April 1, 2012 – which service am I enrolled in?

I had my initial Home Energy Assessment April 1, 2012 or after – which service am I enrolled in?

 

Homeowner Eligibility and Properties

What types of properties are eligible?

Are Multi-Unit Residential Buildings able to enter the service?

What state must the home be in to have a Home Energy Assessment?

What if I added rooms or re-built my home after the pre-retrofit assessment?

 

Rebates and Incentives

What types of upgrades are eligible for rebates?

How long does it take to receive my rebates?

I need help with financing my upgrades; does Efficiency Nova Scotia have anything to help?

I am looking at upgrading my heating and/or ventilation system; does this qualify under the Home Energy Assessment Service?

Are there incentives available for new houses?

Can I do the work myself and receive a rebate?

Does pre-owned equipment qualify for the grant?

 
Inquiries and Contact Information

I’m not sure if I am eligible for the Home Energy Assessment service, who should I contact?

When should I contact Efficiency Nova Scotia?

When should I contact my service organization?

 

 

 
General
 

What is a building enclosure?

 

The building enclosure is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to help maintain the indoor environment (together with the mechanical conditioning systems) and facilitate its climate control.  Upgrading the energy efficiency of your building enclosure consists of insulation (ceiling, exterior wall, exposed floor, basement, and crawlspace), draft-proofing, and windows/doors/skylights.

 

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What is a Home Energy Assessment?

Quite simply the Home Energy Assessment is a report on your home’s energy use – from your attic to the foundation. The Home Energy Assessment is conducted by a Certified Energy Advisor from one of our six service partners.  A Home Energy Assessment is done before any work is started (a pre-retrofit assessment) to see what your home’s current energy efficiency is and again once work is completed (a post-retrofit assessment) to show you how your upgrades improved your energy efficiency.

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What can I expect when participating in the Home Energy Assessment?

 

  1. Book a pre-retrofit Home Energy Assessment with one of our six service partners in your area. The actual cost of a Home Energy Assessment is $515 however Efficiency Nova Scotia pays over half the cost making it only $200 + HST for Nova Scotia homeowners

  2. Within 2 weeks after your pre-retrofit Home Energy Assessment, you’ll receive a detailed report with a prioritized list of recommended energy upgrades for your home.

  3. Choose the upgrades you are comfortable with completing.

  4. Complete your chosen upgrades and book a post-retrofit Home Energy Assessment within 12 months from the date of your pre-retrofit Assessment. The cost of this post-retrofit assessment is included in the pre-retrofit assessment cost.

  5. Have all receipts and the report from your pre-retrofit Home Energy Assessment on hand for your post-retrofit appointment. During the post-retrofit assessment, your Certified Energy Advisor will verify that eligible upgrades were purchased and installed. Helpful tip: take photographs of the upgrades you’ve made in spaces that are not easily accessible (e.g. insulating sloped ceilings, exterior walls, etc.).

  6. On average, most homeowners receive a rebate cheque from Efficiency Nova Scotia within 90 days of the post-retrofit assessment. This time allows for your home’s file to first be submitted to Natural Resources Canada who then sends the file onto Efficiency Nova Scotia.


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How long do I have to complete the Home Energy Assessment?

You have 12 months from the date you had your pre-retrofit Home Energy Assessment to complete upgrades and have your post-retrofit Home Energy Assessment completed.

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Can I get an extension to my 12 month time period?

Unfortunately, no extensions to the 12-month project period will be granted.

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I am looking to buy a house – am I able to have a Home Energy Assessment before I buy the house?

A Home Energy Assessment is a great idea for any new homeowner to better understand their new home but only the current homeowner can book a Home Energy Assessment. Feel free to ask the seller for a Home Energy Assessment as part of your sales agreement, or you can wait until you have purchased the home to book one yourself.

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How much does a Home Energy Assessment cost?

The Home Energy Assessment costs $200 + HST to the homeowner. The regular cost of this service is $515 of which Efficiency Nova Scotia covers $315 of the overall cost. Larger or more complex homes may cost more than the $200.

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How do I book a Home Energy Assessment?

To book a Home Energy Assessment, contact one of our six service partners in your area. When you contact a service partner they will ask you a number of questions to ensure your home is eligible to go through the Home Energy Assessment service.

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Home Energy Assessment


Why do I require both a pre- and post-retrofit Home Energy Assessment?

The pre-retrofit assessment gives you a snapshot of your home’s initial energy efficiency while the post-retrofit assessment updates your energy efficiency with your new upgrades and provides a new EnerGuide rating label. The combination of the two assessments ensures that Efficiency Nova Scotia offers a credible, results-based service with demonstrated improvements in energy consumption. In order to maximize your rebate, refer to the homeowner report to consider other measures recommended by your energy advisor, or read our Rebate Guide.

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Do I have to make any preparations before the energy advisor visits my home?

The Certified Energy Advisor will need access to every room in the house, including the attic and any crawl spaces. Be sure to clear the area around these access points before they arrive. In addition, please make sure not to use any wood-burning appliances, such as fireplaces or wood stoves, at least 24 hours prior to the assessment and clean these appliances before the evaluation. In the case of post-retrofit assessments, show your energy advisor all receipts for purchase and installation of eligible measures, as well as photos and other documentation. If you are planning major renovations, you may also want to review the “What state must the home be in to have a Home Energy Assessment?” section below to ensure the home meets all minimum requirements

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What happens if I lose my receipts?

Without receipts, you cannot receive a rebate. In order to receive a rebate for a particular upgrade, you must keep all receipts for purchase and installation for three years and provide copies to your energy advisor at the post-retrofit assessment. If you lose a receipt, contact the store, your contractor, credit card company or bank to determine if they can provide a valid proof of purchase.

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Past Participants


I’ve had an energy assessment done on my home before – can I have another?

If you participated in a previous ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes or EnerGuide for Houses program before April 1, 2012 with your current property, you can conduct additional home improvements by having a new Home Energy Assessment. If you participated in the Home Energy Assessment program after April 1, 2012 you must wait 6 months before enrolling again between your post-retrofit assessment and pre-retrofit assessment.

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I had my initial Home Energy Assessment (D-audit) before April 1, 2012 – which service am I enrolled in?

Any client enrolled in the service before April 1, 2012 is part of the EnerGuide for Existing Houses program. The EnerGuide for Existing Houses program has rebates available for both building enclosure and heating systems and participants have 18 months from their pre-retrofit home energy assessment to complete all upgrades and their post-retrofit home energy assessment. Call or email our Energy Solutions Advisors for more information.

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I had my initial Home Energy Assessment April 1, 2012 or after – which service am I enrolled in?

Any client enrolled in the service April 1, 2012 or after is a participant in the Home Energy Assessment Service.

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Homeowner Eligibility and Properties


What types of properties are eligible?

Eligible homes include homes that are detached or side-by-side attached homes (e.g. single-family homes and row housing), homes with two or less units that share a common internal passageway, four-season cottages, and mobile homes on a permanent foundation. All properties must be located in Nova Scotia and cannot be new construction (must be at least 6 months past the date on the occupancy permit). In order to have an energy evaluation, the state of the home must be such that it is possible for your energy advisor to perform a blower-door test (see below).

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Are Multi-Unit Residential Buildings able to enter the service?

No, only homes with two or less units that share a common internal passageway are able to participate in the Home Energy Assessment Service.

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What state must the home be in to have a Home Energy Assessment?

In order to have an energy evaluation, the Energy Advisor needs to perform a blower door test which depressurizes the house and measures air leakage. The following are other conditions of the service:

 

  • Heating: At a minimum, the house must have a space heating system in place at the time of the evaluation and it must be (or have been in the case of heating system failure) capable of keeping the interior living space at 21 degrees C.

 

  • Windows and doors: The house must have all windows and doors in place. However, a maximum of one window or door unit can be missing as long as it is temporarily air sealed (e.g., covered with plywood and seams and edges sealed with caulking). Any broken window panes must be air sealed (e.g., taped polyethylene) for the duration of the blower door test.

 

  • Envelope: If the temporary draft-proofing fails during the blower door test, the house will be considered ineligible. The building enclosure, which includes the upper level ceilings, exterior walls, exposed floors, windows and doors, must be intact, including the interior and exterior surfaces (i.e., the interior finish and exterior siding must be in place). Any renovations underway in rooms or sections of the house can only affect interior partitions and not perforate the building enclosure.

 

  • Foundation: The house must rest on its permanent foundation(s).

 

  • Power: There must be a supply of standard AC electrical power available by which to operate the blower door test equipment. If power is not available from a utility, the homeowner must come to an agreement with the service organization about arranging for a suitable power supply.

 

  • Water and sewer: There must be a functional supply of domestic water supplied by the municipality or from a private source such as a well or a cistern system. Sewer service must be provided by the municipality, a private septic system or a holding tank (outhouses and bio-toilets are permissible as toilets).

 

 

  • Operating kitchen: The kitchen space must include: an operable sink (or appropriate rough-ins); an operating stove (no portable devices) or hook-ups (i.e., rough-in for electrical connection with dedicated breaker, gas appliance rough-in, or solid-fuel fired cook stove chimney); and a minimum of six square feet (0.5 square metres) of counter space or evidence of future intent to install a permanent counter (not just a kitchen table).


Homeowners who have concerns should discuss their specific house issues with a service organization.

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What if I added rooms or re-built my home after the pre-retrofit assessment?

Additions built after the pre-retrofit assessment are considered new construction and are therefore not eligible for rebates. Rebates payable on the original portion of the home may be pro-rated to reflect these changes.

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Rebates and Incentives


What types of upgrades are eligible for rebates?

Upgrades made to ceiling, exterior wall, exposed floor, basement, and crawlspace insulation are eligible. Improving the air-tightness of your home and installation of Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights also are eligible for rebates. Only upgrades purchased and installed after the pre-retrofit assessment are eligible. Take a look at our rebate guide for more information and eligibility criteria.

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How long does it take to receive my rebates?

Because Efficiency Nova Scotia relies on data received from a third party, the average wait time to receive a rebate is 90 days. Your home’s file is first submitted to Natural Resources Canada as a quality assurance step who then sends the file onto Efficiency Nova Scotia. Once Efficiency Nova Scotia receives the file, it takes about 4-6 weeks to process for payment.

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I need help with financing my upgrades; does Efficiency Nova Scotia have anything to help?

Yes we do have financing. You can receive 0% financing on your project in lieu of a rebate. For more information please visit our financing pages.

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I am looking at upgrading my heating and/or ventilation system; does this qualify under the Home Energy Assessment Service?

Rebates on upgrades to heating systems are no longer available under the Home Energy Assessment. Heating system upgrades are now encompassed under our Green Heat service. If you are looking to update your heating or ventilation system we would still recommend having a Home Energy Assessment. This Home Energy Assessment will determine the best way to make the most of your new system and keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. Completing your building enclosure upgrades before any heating system upgrades is optimal to ensure your appliance is not oversized in the future.

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Are there incentives available for new houses?

There are no incentives in the Home Energy Assessment service for new houses however Performance Plus provides rebates provided eligibility criteria are met. Houses in the Home Energy Assessment must be at least 6 months old (from the date of the occupancy permit) at the time of the pre-retrofit assessment in order to be eligible.

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Can I do the work myself and receive a rebate?

Yes, however homeowners are responsible for ensuring they obtain all necessary permits and meet all municipal and provincial requirements before carrying out any upgrades.

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Does pre-owned equipment qualify?

No. If a product was previously installed in a home or building and removed, it may no longer meet manufacturer’s specifications. Your Certified Energy Advisor will ask you to provide receipts to ensure the equipment is new.

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Inquiries and Contact Information


I’m not sure if I am eligible for the Home Energy Assessment, who should I contact?

Contact Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Energy Solutions Advisors at 1-877-999-6035 Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm (AST) or via email.

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When should I contact Efficiency Nova Scotia?

You should contact Efficiency Nova Scotia if you are:

    Unsure of your eligibility in the service,
    Wondering about the status of your rebate cheque or breakdown of measures,
    Concerned with the service you are receiving.

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When should I contact my service organization?

You should contact your Service Organization if you:

    Are booking a pre- or post-retrofit assessment,
    Have questions about the state of your house and if it can have a blower door test,
    Have questions about results of your Home Energy Assessment.

 

 

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ACAP Cape Breton

The Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP) Cape Breton is an environmental non-profit community organization and registered charity.

 

ACAP Cape Breton has a vision for a community in which local people are actively engaged, working and learning together to build healthy and sustainable communities.

 

Established in 1992, the original mission was to develop a comprehensive ecosystem management plan for the watershed area of industrial Cape Breton.

 

ACAP Cape Breton has grown into a dynamic group that integrates environmental, social and economic factors into projects focusing on action, education and ecosystem planning.

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