Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EcoENERGY Program Update

Nearly 8 months ago, I bought a new furnace and took advantage of the ecoENERGY program to reduce my total cost. After only 34 weeks (!) the last cheque from the provincial government arrived. The process definitely hasn’t been speedy, but I did actually get all the money I was promised.

I must admit that the whole thing felt a little like a scam in the beginning. The salesman wanted me to buy a furnace and pay for an ecoENERGY audit up front with the promise that I’d get lots of money back down the road. This doesn’t sound much different from being asked to send in a fee so that some supposed huge lottery win can be released.

Counting sales taxes, I paid $4209 for the furnace and another $420 for the energy audits. Then very slowly over time I got the following rebates:

$790 federal furnace grant
$790 provincial furnace grant
$150 provincial energy audit grant
$125 provincial power authority grant
$150 gas supplier grant
$145 furnace seller rebate
$481 home improvement income tax deduction (15% of $4209 minus $1000)

Net Savings: $2211 (after deducting the $420 for the energy audits)

The final cost of the furnace to me is $1998, which is less than half of the starting price. I even got an extra $389 in rebates and income tax savings for replacing a patio door. Unfortunately, the somewhat confusing message at the ecoENERGY site seems to indicate that the program is now closed to people who haven’t already started the process.

So, I can confirm that the process that used to exist worked as advertised in my case. If the rebates hadn’t taken so long to come in that the program expired in the interim, this message may have been more useful to readers.


  1. I got the same rebates as you did but here in Alberta the provincial rebate was $500. One other big rebate i got was when I purchased the furnace through Costco I recieved a $500 credit from them as well. My total outlay was $6500 installed and after rebates the cost was about $3200. The high efficient furnace has reduced my gas consumption dramatically.

  2. The other aspect that you should consider in your return is your savings by going to a highly efficient furnace. You will probably break even sooner than you think!

    Other good energy audit returns:
    1. Replacing Toilets (probably the best return + your water savings

    2. Attic insulation - for olders houses (more than > 15 yrs) you will probably see a good savings on your heating bills as less heat escapes through the ceiling.

  3. @Anonymous 1: The rules seems to change dramatically province-by-province and over time. I'm glad it worked out for you.

    @Anonymous 2: My best guess is that it will take 4 to 5 years for me to get back my net furnace cost. Hopefully it won't require any expensive repairs in that period.

  4. Wonder what the cost was of all of the bureaucrats to administer the program?

    Our municipality will provide a subsidy for toilet replacement. It involves at least three steps with paperwork and three different city departments. The rebate is around $50. Or I could just go to a hardware store and refit the tank for $20-something.


  5. @Andy R: That's an interesting point. There were savings for me personally, but whether the program as a whole is saving money for the country is another matter.