Planning Your Retrofit

Planning an effective home energy retrofit can seem confusing if you are not familiar with the process, technologies and approaches used; and planning is incredibly important to ensure a home energy retrofit achieves maximum outcomes.  You need to select the right measures, do them in the right order, and have them installed properly. 

Most of this is new to the average homeowner, but it is not new to us.  To help you navigate the basic steps, we’ve put together a simple, five-step plan to get you started.

Call our Retrofit Navigator 1-877-580-2582 or email betterhomes@envirocentre.ca for more information on the next steps in planning your retrofit. 

Making the Plan

1. Get your home energy assessment 

A home energy assessment will tell you how and where your home needs to be upgraded to save energy and become healthier and more comfortable for living.  This is the place to start.  A registered energy advisor will visit your home, ask you questions about your home and energy use, and then will provide you with a detailed report, including specific retrofit recommendations. 

Energy Advisors have a wealth of information, and the cost is currently subsidized by the Greener Homes Program.

2. Choose your path 

Your Energy Advisor will provide you with a report that includes recommendations to improve your home.  If you are a participant in the Better Homes Loan Program, you will also receive a Net-Zero recommendations report that will provide you with GoodBetter, and Best options to improve your home, including measures to select and the order in which to implement them.  Now, it’s time for you to choose what you want to do.   

Your choice may depend on your budget, the other renovations you would like to complete, or specific factors, like the age of your existing equipment.  You can contact the Better Homes Ottawa Retrofit Navigator to ask questions about resources, incentives, or specific recommendations.  We also recommend you book a session with the BHO Energy Coach to discuss the specifics of your retrofit, and receive expert planning advice. 

At this stage you definitely want to consider: 

  • Incentives
  • Costs 
  • Future Planning
  • How to get the work done right 

Planning an effective energy retrofit can be confusing!  That’s why we have created a range of tools to ensure your planning goes well.  Consider: 

If you want more detailed project planning support, check out the Better Homes Ottawa Home Retrofit Planner Service. 

3. Put your plan into action 

You have a solid idea of what you want to achieve, and what the project will involve.  Now you need to make it happen.  This will involve four major steps: 

  • selecting and booking contractors
  • applying for incentives and/or financing support
  • purchasing the right equipment and materials 
  • checking for quality at every stage to make sure your project is done right 

4. The post-audit 

Your retrofit is complete.  The last step in completing your post-retrofit home assessment to test exactly how much your home has improved (in terms of energy consumption) since your original assessment.  This post-assessment is required for eligibility for most incentives, and for the Better Homes Loan.  Just call the company that did your original home assessment and book your follow-up audit. 

Once you have the results in hand, you can submit to your financing and rebate programs.  Ask your Energy Advisor for advice on next steps, or call the Retrofit Navigator with your questions. 

6. Living post-retrofit 

You have upgraded your home.  Congrats!  All that is left is to make the most of the improvements you’ve made and to continue to plan for any future improvements that may take you closer to your net-zero ambitions.   

We’ve put together some tips to help you make this happen. 

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