Why should I retrofit my home?

    Residents who invest in home energy upgrades can lower their energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect against energy price increases and improve the comfort in their homes. 

    Below are some examples of the benefits of common deep retrofits:

    Deep RetrofitHow it WorksBenefits
    Heat pumps
    • Moves heat from one space to another: In the winter it warms by transferring heat inside and in the summer it cools by sending heat outside
    • Can be used for space conditioning and domestic hot water
    • Increases value of home
    • Reduces costs for electric heating, natural gas, and water heating
    • Requires less maintenance than combustion heating systems
    • Provides both heating and cooling
    • Safer than combustion-based heating systems
    • Can last up to 15 years


    Insulation and air sealing (building envelope, ducts, windows, doors)
    • Slows the flow of air into or out of your home
    • Insulation slows the rate of heat loss
    • Air sealing prevents air leakage from places such as windows and doors 
    • Fewer drafts during the winter
    • Less noise from outside
    • Improves air quality as a result of less humidity, pollen, dust and pests
    • Better humidity control
    • Reduces heating and cooling costs


    Smart thermostats with Zone Control
    • Divides your home into multiple zones, which allows you to set different temperatures for each space
    • Eliminates wasteful heating 
    • Creates more comfortable temperatures 
    • Reduces heating and cooling costs 


    High Efficiency Furnace (Energy Star)
    • Results in less heating going to waste
    • High efficiency furnaces have over 90 per cent efficiency while older models typically have around 65 per cent
    • Uses less energy than other models
    • Longer lifespan than older models
    • Lower energy bills
    • Saves even more energy when paired with a smart thermostat


    Solar PV options with battery storage
    • Converts sunlight energy into electricity
    • Source of renewable energy
    • Solar generated can be stored by battery (for power outages) 
    • Excess power can be sent into grid (get credit on bill with Net Metering)


    What is the EnerGuide home evaluation?

    Conducting an EnerGuide home evaluation can help you understand your home's energy use and identify areas for improvement. 

    The audit is carried out by a registered energy advisor. Your energy advisor will examine the exterior and interior of your home to look for air leaks, indoor air quality, insulation levels, HVAC equipment, and much more.

    Once the assessment is complete, you will receive customized recommendations in the form of the following documents: 

    • An EnerGuide rating and label
    • A Homeowner Information Sheet
    • A Renovation Upgrade Report


    For more information on how to interpret your results, please visit Natural Resources Canada.

    How much does an energy audit cost?

    The EnerGuide home evaluation typically costs between $400-600. Homeowners pay up-front for evaluations. However, a number of grants are available to cover the costs of the evaluation.

    For programs such as the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you must complete the process in order to receive reimbursement for the pre-retrofit evaluation.

    How do I complete a home energy retrofit?

    The following steps summarize what to expect when undertaking a home energy retrofit:

    1. Arrange an EnerGuide home evaluation

    • Contact a Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Qualified Net Zero Energy Advisor to arrange an EnerGuide home evaluation.
    • Registered energy advisors will conduct a detailed audit of your house and identify areas that can save you energy and money.

    2. Review results

    • Once your home evaluation is complete, your energy advisor will share the following documents with you:
      • An EnerGuide rating and label
      • A Homeowner Information Sheet
      • A Renovation Upgrade Report
    • Using this information, you will be able to select the appropriate retrofits for your home.
    • For more information on how to interpret your results, please visit Natural Resources Canada.

    3. Select and hire contractors


    4. Apply for incentives and financing

    • In order to finalize your reimbursement, you may need to book a post-retrofit evaluation. Check the eligibility requirements of each grant and incentive.
    • You may also need to upload documents online to request reimbursement. Submit all relevant documents (invoices, receipts, etc.) using the indicated method and within the given timeframe.

    5. Track and manage your retrofits

    • A number of tools and resources are available online to help you plan your retrofits.
    • Download a copy of our Project Tracker by visiting our "Documents" section on the homepage.

    6. Complete a post-retrofit EnerGuide rating

    • Once all upgrades have been installed, you can book your post-retrofit evaluation and request reimbursement. 
    • The post-retrofit evaluation will include:
      • a new EnerGuide rating and label
      • follow-up information indicating improvements to your home energy efficiency and your EnerGuide rating
    • Your energy advisor has up to 30 days to submit documents to Natural Resources Canada.

    7. Enjoy upgrades and collect incentives

    • Collect your reimbursement and enjoy the benefits of an energy efficient home.

    What are the rebates and incentives?

    The following rebates and incentives are available to Markham residents:

    Rebate or Program
    Source
    Contact
    Focus
    Income Based
    EnerGuide Evaluation Required
    Details
    Federal Government
    Home efficiency and lower GHG emissions
    No
    Yes

    (Rebate if complete recommended retrofit)

    Up to $5,600 available for primary residence. Newly built homes are not eligible.

    Home Retrofits Enbridge Gas Inc.

    Utility Company
    1-855-659-0549Home energy efficiency upgradesNoYes

    (Rebate if complete 2 qualifying upgrades)

    Up to $5,000 to eligible homeowners who complete 2 qualifying upgrades.

    Home WinterproofingEnbridge Gas Inc.

    Utility Company
    1-855-659-0549WinterproofingYesNoFree insulation, draft proofing and a smart thermostat to reduce heating and cooling costs.
    Thermostat RebateEnbridge Gas Inc.

    Utility Company
    1-855-659-0549

    Home efficiency upgradesNoNo

    Up to $75 

    Enbridge gas customers must register to and use discount code prior to purchase online or at Home Depot. 

    First Nations Conservation Program

    Hydro One

    Utility Company


    1-844-349-8972

    fncp@fnesl.ca

    Home efficiency upgrades

    NoYes

    Free home evaluation and free upgrades to those who qualify. 

    Includes LED bulbs, smart power bars, weather-stripping, faucet aerators, insulation, thermostats and more.

    Energy Affordability ProgramSave On Energy1-855-591-0877


    eap@saveonenergy.ca


    Lower monthly electricity costs and energy savingsYesYesFree energy assessment to those who qualify and free energy saving kits.


    If you notice information that is out of date, please notify us at sustainability@markham.ca. 

    Can I stack rebates?

    Yes, homeowners can apply for multiple rebates and incentives. Please review the details of each rebate to determine which ones work best for you.

    Where can I find a qualified contractor?

    Homeowners are strongly encouraged to hire an expert for deep retrofits. Find a licensed and experienced contractor by visiting the following links:


    Consider supporting the local economy and hire a Markham-based contractor. The following directories can help you find green companies in your area:  


    Disclaimer:  The City of Markham does not endorse any of the contractors included in the list above, and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee and assumes no responsibility or liability for any work performed by such contractors. This list is meant strictly as a resource to aid home owners in narrowing their search when looking for a contractor, and not as a warranted referral service.

    What should I ask when hiring a contractor?

    Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recommends asking the following questions when hiring a contractor: 

    • How can I be sure that the product you are recommending meets the applicable federal and provincial or territorial legislation?

    • Can I see the Material Safety Data Sheet for this product (if applicable)?

    • Will the product be installed according to manufacturer’s guidelines?

    • Are the workers trained in these procedures?

    • Will the retrofit work comply with municipal by-laws as well as any provincial, territorial and/or federal legislation and utility requirements?

    • What steps will you take to protect my family and me during and after the renovation?

    • What challenges as a contractor have you had working with this product?

    • Do you foresee any problems installing this in our home?

    • May I contact your references?

    For more information, see NRCan's publication Keeping the Heat In and How to Recognize Energy Scams.

    Where can I find more information?

    For additional resources and further learning, please visit the following websites:


    For more information on the City of Markham's sustainability initiatives, please visit: