As I pointed out in my last post, home prices in Yellowknife are now slightly below the national average - a fact that will likely surprise many folks who are currently house hunting. But any way you slice it, there is nothing average about our home-heating costs. For those who are seeking to reduce their cost of living, improving household energy efficiency is an attractive option.
In the past, homeowners have had access to a number of federal government programs to sweeten the appeal of eco-friendly renovations. With the cancellation of the ecoENERGY Retrofit grant program on January 30th of this year, these options have been greatly reduced - but not entirely eliminated.
A little known eco-incentive is the CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Refund for Home Upgrades. If you are planning on buying a home that is within striking distance of an Energuide 80 rating, you may be able to recover 10% of your CMHC premiums (insurance fees paid on your CMHC-backed mortgage). For example, if you buy your home with a 5% down payment and your mortgage is worth $400,000, you could recover 10% of your $11,000 CMHC fees.
Yes, you have to pay for two home energy-audits in order to qualify for the rebate - at a total cost of $300 plus tax - but you still come out on top, especially once you take your reduced heating bills into consideration.
For information on this program, click here. And for information on home energy audits and Energuide ratings, click here or call the Arctic Energy Alliance at 920-3333. Tell them Adrian from Century 21 sent you!