FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit?
An Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit is a 45-minute personalized home consultation where a trained advisor will evaluate ways to reduce your water and energy consumption in each room. They will measure the water use of faucets and shower heads, check for toilet leaks, and, if necessary, help you to install water- and energy-saving devices such as low-flow shower heads and aerators, hot water pipe insulation and compact fluorescent light bulbs. They will also tell you about incentive or rebate programs that are offered in the community. At the end of the visit, you will receive a detailed report outlining the water, energy and cost savings estimated to result from the visit, as well as a customized plan outlining further actions you can take to achieve additional savings!
Who is eligible to receive an Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit?
You are eligible if you own a home in Guelph or rent and can have your landlord approve of the visit. During this pilot phase, homeowners in the Hanlon Creek neighbourhood are encouraged to receive an Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit. Once we have completed the pilot phase, we will be assessing the program to determine how it should be expanded. Check our map to determine if you live in the Hanlon Creek neighbourhood! Feedback that we receive from Guelph residents during the pilot phase will help us to make decisions about the future of the program.
This pilot is focused on the Hanlon Creek neighbourhood. Why?
The Hanlon Creek neighbourhood was chosen as the pilot area for this program for a number of reasons:
• Our analysis revealed that homes in this neighbourhood tend to use more water and energy on average than homes in other areas of Guelph.
• The water and energy use baseline data supports the measurement and analysis of the pilot program in this area.
• A majority of the single family homes in this neighbourhood were built prior to 1996, the year that the Ontario Building Code began requiring efficient fixtures in new homes. This means that many homes are likely to require upgrades to their water- and energy-consumption fixtures.
What if I am renting my house?
We require the permission of the homeowner to conduct an Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit. Have your landlord or the owner of the home sign the waiver (link) and agree to have your house participate. Your landlord does not need to be present during the visit, as long as you or someone who lives in the house can be there at the time the visit is scheduled. Many landlords are excited to participate in this program because it offers free water and energy efficiency upgrades, which benefits homeowners as well as tenants!
Why is it important to conserve water and energy in my home?
Guelph relies on groundwater, so our water supply is more limited than in other communities. We need to use our groundwater responsibly in order to ensure that there will be adequate water in the future. Similarly, the amount of energy we can use is limited by our infrastructure. If demand for energy becomes too high, we will have to live with shortages or expand our infrastructure which is very costly. When we conserve water and energy, we help to reduce our impact on the environment.
The City of Guelph’s population has been projected to grow considerably in the coming years. As it grows, conserving water and energy will be more important than ever. Plus, whenever we save water and energy, we also save money on our utility bills!
How much does an Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit cost?
During the pilot phase of the program, the Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit opportunity will be offered free of charge to homeowners in the Hanlon Creek neighbourhood.
Who is paying for this program?
The Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit pilot program is a collaborative effort between the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., Union Gas and Guelph Environmental Leadership. Funding and in-kind contributions have been provided by all project partners. Click on the logos below to learn more about each partner.
How will this program be evaluated?
The Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit pilot program will be evaluated based on a number of criteria, including:
• measurement of water and energy savings
• increased awareness and use of existing rebate and incentive programs for water and energy conservation
• increased knowledge and use of household efficiency fixtures
Program evaluation and follow-up research will be conducted in partnership with the University of Guelph’s Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship/The Research Shop.
As part of this evaluation, pilot program participants will be invited to discuss their experience with a University of Guelph student researcher in early 2012. We encourage participants to take part in this process, as their feedback will be an important part of program evaluation and development.
Thank you for your interest in the Efficient Home Visit and Retrofit pilot program.