2 Insulate the walls and roof with natural products. Cellulose, essentially composed of used newspaper, is a better choice than polystyrene. It’s renewable and recyclable, whereas polystyrene is a petroleum derivative. However, installing cellulose insulation is more complicated and requires special equipment.
3 Through the Ontario Home Energy Retrofit Program, the Ontario Ministry of Energy offers grants of up to $5,000 to homeowners intent on retrofitting their homes to make them more energy efficient. This is in addition to the maximum $5,000 grant available through the federal government’s ecoENERGY Retrofit Program. The Ontario Home Energy Audit Program also allows homeowners to find out how and where their home is losing energy. With this program, homeowners are able to identify improvements that can be made to home heating, cooling and hot-water systems, helping them save hundreds of dollars per year. The government of Ontario pays 50 percent – up to $150 – of the home-energy audit. For details on the Home Energy Retrofit Program and the Home Energy Audit Program, go to www.homeenergyontario.ca, and on the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program, visit www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca.