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Incentives Drive General Contractors in Calgary To Go Green

A December 2, 2013 article from The Toronto Star discusses the government’s action plan in giving financial incentives to homeowners undertaking home renovations for more resource-efficient and environmentally responsible structures:

Consumers will get an extra incentive to do energy-efficient renovations on their homes under a new conservation program in Ontario’s latest long-term energy plan, the Star has learned.

Home RenovationsUpfront financing will be provided, with homeowners paying it back over time on their utility bills, increasing the value of their properties while helping to cut pollution and save energy, said sources familiar with the plan to be unveiled Monday by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli.

The “on-bill financing,” which will begin in 2015, could include retrofits such as new windows or increasing attic insulation.

There are the two main reasons why Canadians renovate: to add comfort and value of the home, and to spruce it up for sale. Home renovations now come in affordable packages, with payoffs for both the homeowners and the builders. Moreover, energy-efficient upgrades made by homeowners, like adding structural components and appliances certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) or Energy Star also qualifies them for rebates.

Canadians see great potential in a green home, according to a 2010 TD Canada Trust Green Home Poll. Seventy two percent of Canadians who participated in the survey expressed that they would be willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly home. The main reasons for the statement included cost savings on energy bills, health benefits and reduced environmental impact.

Calgary, which was first to take part in the ecological movement in 2010, is the first Canadian municipality to require all city buildings to meet LEED certification. Now that the federal government is finalizing its formal program for financial incentives, it encourages more Canadians to carry out greener home renovations and intensify all their efforts for a more sustainable future.

Build Green Canada, which promotes environmentally friendly building practices nationwide, especially encourages general contractors in Calgary to engage in ecological business practices. Some examples of materials and methods that they favour include the use of alternative, yet more durable, materials. These include products with recycled content, wood products from sustainably managed forests, application of deck surface materials made from low maintenance materials, and use of natural stone/stucco/brick/fiber siding for at least 25% of exterior cladding.

On a case-to-case basis, home renovations can be tedious and complicated with all the coordination and sourcing; so, the best solution is to consult builders that specialize in managing refurbishing projects with utmost professionalism and expertise. Property owners can turn to Calgary contractors like Proflex Contracting to help them build greener homes.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Ontario to offer financing for energy-efficient home renovations, Toronto Star, 2 December 2013)

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