December 14th - 2009

Homebuyers care about sustainability

Energy efficiency makes sense to most homebuyers.

Energy efficiency makes sense to most homebuyers. They choose energy efficient options for savings in their pocketbooks and for saving the environment. REALTORS® can benefit from knowing the choices to make that will help reduce climate change and make our homes and communities more sustainable

What is sustainability?
The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Small, everyday changes we make can affect the future of our environment.

As concerns over climate change continue to grow, more homebuyers will demand sustainable features in a home. Homeowners planning to update a home to sell it may turn to a REALTOR® for information on sustainable improvements to make to enhance the home’s “saleability.” Homebuyers may want to talk to a REALTOR® about what sustainable features to look for that will help save money on utility usage and costs.

You’ll find many tips and resources about sustainability as well as energy efficiency grants available from the following government websites:

EcoENERGY grants and Energy and Water Efficiency tips
Homeowner grants (click on Grants and Incentives)
Using Less Living Better
Hydro One Energy Efficient Tips and Tools
Water Saving Tips (go to CMHC for Consumers and search for Water Saving Tips)
Conservation Solutions
Tips on Greening Your Home

Recycling and Building Materials
The Recycling Council of Ontario:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores

Gardens and Landscaping
Composting Council of Canada
Native Plants directory
The Eat Well Guide

Energy rebate deadlines loom
The Home Renovation Tax Credit applies to work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010 under an agreement entered into after January 27, 2009.

Eligible expenses for goods acquired during this period, even if they are installed after January 2010, will still qualify. If an eligible expense involves work performed by a contractor or a third party, and the work is not completed by the end of the eligible period, only the portion that is completed before February 1, 2010 will qualify, even if a payment has been made.

Solar Energy Systems Rebate Program: This rebate has been extended for qualifying systems that are purchased and installed in residential premises before January 1, 2010.

The Solar Energy Systems Rebate returns the Retail Sales Tax (RST) paid on solar energy systems to homeowners or builders who install the energy systems into residential premises, including multi-residential premises, or who expand or upgrade an existing solar energy system.

ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program: Homeowners who previously received a grant can re-enter the program. So too can homeowners who are still within the 18-month period following their pre-retrofit assessment report and who require more time to complete their retrofits.

Homeowners must complete retrofits and receive a post-retrofit evaluation by March 31, 2011, or within 18 months from the date of the pre-retrofit evaluation report, whichever comes first and subject to available funding.

To re-enter, homeowners must complete the registration form on the website or call 1-877-953-5454.

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For more information contact

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

416-445-9910 ext. 246