The Change Makers are homeowners in the Pocket working together while they plan to retrofit their houses to reduce energy consumption, reduce natural gas use and significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Our Retrofit Coach and Registered Energy Advisors are available to help guide homeowners through the process. Personalized expert advice helps homeowners move ahead with confidence. Change Maker meetings are a chance to raise questions, hear about others’ experiences and solve problems, as well as meet new people in The Pocket. Change Maker Coordinators stay in touch to flag and address any issues.
The Change Maker Retrofit Process
The ChangeMaker Registered Energy Advisors work with homeowners through the following steps*:
- Measure the heating/cooling efficiency of your house and understand how/where it could be improved.
Initial Design Meeting
- Meet with you to discuss your energy audit reports, get to know your house and discuss your objectives, budget and other preferences.
- Prepare a Retrofit Roadmap for your home, with the suggested work and logical order of activities to meet your objectives, tailored to your household, goals, preferred pace and budget. Meet to discuss the roadmap, including the pros and cons of your options.
Rebates and Financing
- Advise regarding available rebates and financing options, and how to apply for each.
- Act as the project manager for your retrofit by sourcing quotes from interested and capable contractors, discussing the scope of the project with prospective contractors, as well as providing input and answering questions regarding quotes to help you decide which one(s) would be most appropriate for you. Oversee the installation as required to help the plan translate into high quality work. This approach will save you time in researching and communicating with contractors, help you feel confident of receiving good value for your money and increase the likelihood that the work will be done properly, all of which will reduce the stress that this type of work often creates.
- Analyze your utility records before and after the retrofit work so that you can see the results: your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction!
* Reduced Pocket fees are payable for these services.
Financing and rebate options are constantly changing and can be confusing. The Toronto Rebates + Incentives page shows the programs currently available, which include:
- Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate Program - Up to $5,000 rebate for air-sealing, insulation, windows and doors
- Federal government Greener Homes Grant - Up to $5,000 grant for air-sealing, insulation, windows, doors, air to air heat pumps, hybrid hot water tanks and solar
Canadian Municipal Housing Corporation - $40k interest-free loan - to be launched end
of this year
- City of Toronto HELP Loan - $75k low interest loan
- City of Toronto - A subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install basement flood protection devices like sump pumps.
The Energy Advisors have the most up-to-date information and can help you make the most of the financing available for your particular situation.
Since the ChangeMakers program began in fall 2021,
- The number of ChangeMaker homes has grown from 12 to 16.
- More than half of the ChangeMakers have Retrofit Roadmaps and are starting to get quotes so that they can select contractors
Even before our Change Makers got going, some neighbours had already completed carbon emission-reducing retrofits on their houses. Read their stories.
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