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February 2020

Want to Save Up to $1,000 & Cut Energy Bills, Too? Read This!

Canada has long been a leader in the conservation of natural resources. As a nation, we are committed to reducing our collective and individual carbon footprint more every year.

Here in Ontario, one of the ways this is taking shape is through energy rebates.

These rebates are offered annually to provide you with extra financial support when you make energy-efficient choices.

It is always great to get money back when you need to upgrade your home appliances. But the best part about taking advantage of these energy savings rebate programs is actually what happens next: lower energy bills!

This year, you can save up to $1,000 upfront on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Then you can start saving money right away on the cost of running your new appliances. Keep reading to find out all the details!

What Is the Ontario Energy Savings Rebate Program?

The Ontario Energy Savings Rebate Program is a province-wide incentive program to help you do two things:

  1. Afford the purchase of new energy-efficient appliances and products

  2. Afford to run those appliances and products through year-round energy savings

The program has three goals:

  • Release $200M in funds over a two-year period to support energy-efficiency upgrades

  • Provide savings of up to 25 percent on the purchase of select items

  • Provide point-of-sale rebates of up to $1,000 on the purchase of select items

The funding is being released to retailers of all sizes to be passed on to you, the consumer, at the time of purchase.

Which Products and Appliances Are Eligible for Rebates?

The following Energy Star-certified energy-efficient products and appliances are included in the Energy Savings Rebate Program for 2020:

  • Washer

  • Dryer

  • Washer & dryer combo

  • Dishwasher

  • Tankless condensing water heater

  • Air purifier/room air cleaner

  • Smart thermostat

  • Ductless mini-split indoor unit (i.e., air-source heat pump)

  • Room air conditioner

  • Ceiling fan

  • Dehumidifier

  • Refrigerator and/or refrigerator freezer

  • Electric vehicle home charger

  • Induction stovetop

How Much Will You Save on Energy Costs?

While nearly everyone is familiar with the concept of Energy Star-certified appliances and products, you may feel less familiar with how much of a difference the purchase of an Energy Star-certified item may make to your bottom line.

In this section, we aim to demystify the potential for energy savings with an example you can use to plug in your own expenses and see how much you may save.

According to recent nationwide residential spending data, we know that the average Canadian homeowner in Ontario reports spending around $2,358 per year on energy.

We also know how this energy gets used* inside the typical Canadian home:

  • 61 percent: heating

  • 3 percent: cooling

  • 19 percent: hot water

  • 14 percent: appliances

  • 4 percent: lighting

* data cites rounding as the reason for a 101 total score.

Since home heating represents the single greatest energy output and expense for the typical homeowner, let's start there to build our formula.

Starting with our annual energy expense of $2,358, we can calculate that 61 percent of that is $1,438.

The Energy Star program tells us that you can save an average of 20 percent on energy costs by upgrading to an Energy Star-certified furnace.

Now we can calculate that 20 percent of $1,438 is $287 per year. This is the energy savings you can potentially reap upfront just by upgrading to a new Energy Star-certified furnace.

To increase your energy savings, you can also choose to undertake various home improvement projects, such as weatherstripping (10 percent) and duct sealing (30 percent savings). Your savings will depend on the degree of maintenance required as well as your energy use patterns.

So now you can take this formula and plug in your own numbers. Start with your annual energy costs. Take 61 percent (or whatever feels reasonable for your usage patterns) and that is what you spend on heating. Deduct 20 percent of your annual heating costs to account for upgrading to an Energy Star-certified furnace. Then deduct another 25 percent off the cost of your new furnace for your Energy Star savings rebate.

How Much Can You Save for Different Products and Appliances?

There is a lot more to learn about how much Energy Star-certified products and appliances can help trim your home energy expenses.

Here are some averages as reported by the Energy Star program for the products and appliances covered by the 2020 rebate program:

NOTE: There is currently no Energy Star-certified statistical history for the savings to be reaped from induction stovetop ranges. However, general data shows that you can gain 10 percent energy savings (90 percent efficiency) by switching to induction cooking.

Get in Touch

Here at Bi-Temp, we are proud to be a designated participating retailer for the 2020 Ontario Energy Rebate Savings Program.

When you purchase any of the listed products or appliances you just read about, we can provide you with point-of-sale rebates to help you save money on your new energy-efficient choice!

Give us a call at 613-967-1066 or visit us online.

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Boiler, Heat Pump, Furnace: What Does Each Do & Which Do You Need?

three way direction arrow

On one level, heat is heat. You know when you have it and you sure notice when you don’t!

But when it comes time to replace your existing system, suddenly it seems as if there is a world of new terminology to master first.

Perhaps you inherited your current heating system along with your home when you moved in. Maybe you have space heaters, radiant heat, a central furnace, a heating boiler or a heat pump.

If your system is old or you’re not pleased with the overall performance or the cost to run your current heating system, you may wonder if a change could do your body (and budget) some good.

In this article, to help you choose, we take a closer look at the most popular types of heating appliances today and explain what each system does.

What Is a Heater?

The word “heater” is a catch-all term.

It could mean anything from a wood fireplace to a geothermal heat pump, although in most cases, "heater" is used interchangeably with two heat sources: a furnace or a space heater.

What Is a Furnace?

The modern furnace began its evolution as a simple enclosed oven. Today’s furnace has evolved to run using a variety of fuel sources, including electricity, gas, oil and propane or a combination thereof.

The gas furnace is the most popular for residential and commercial use today. Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel and tends to be a more economical fuel choice overall.

Some newer high-efficiency furnace models can take both propane and natural gas, giving you options as fuel prices fluctuate.

There are two types of furnace systems: central (ducted) and ductless.

What Is a Heating Boiler?

As the name implies, a heating boiler boils water to generate heat. By transforming water into steam, the boiler's heat energy becomes easy to transport.

The most common way that steam is transported is through pipes or ducts.

One of the most popular aspects of heating boilers is that they pull double duty: heating your home and your hot water too. They are also efficient in that any unused steam is sent back to the starting line to be reused.

What Is a Radiant Heater?

Radiant heat uses the same principles as the sun. When you stand in a sunbeam, you instantly warm up.

Radiant heaters use the same electromagnetic, infrared waves to heat whatever those waves encounter. In other words, they heat you and not the surrounding air.

There are two main types of radiant heaters: boiler-based and electricity-based. If you have (or choose to switch to) a heating boiler, the type of heat generated is radiant. Electric radiant heaters use electricity as power to generate the same basic type of heat waves.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump works by pumping heat into or out of your home depending on the season.

In the winter, a heat pump will gather the extra heat energy in the incoming air and use it to pre-heat your home, lowering your heating bills.

In the summer, a heat pump will gather the extra heat energy in your indoor air and move it outside to reduce the burden on your air conditioner in cooling down incoming air. Again, you benefit, with lower cooling bills.

There are two main types of heat pump: air source and ground source, or geothermal.

Air source heat pumps are more compact, much easier to install and more affordable. Ground source heat pumps are wildly efficient (up to 400 percent in some cases) but are more of an up-front investment and more complex to install.

What Are Ductless Heaters?

In North America, ducted homes are fairly common. But in other parts of the world, homes with central ductwork are actually rather uncommon.

Ductless heating systems have become popular outside of North America for their quiet, compact and highly efficient heat output. The inside component is wall- or ceiling-mounted and connected to the outside component via a thin cable. There can be one or many inside components, depending on the size of the space, which also allows for zoned temperature control.

The most common system is called a “ductless mini-split.” This system provides both cooling and heating.

What Type of Heating System Do You Need?

If you are ready to upgrade your existing heat system or are choosing a heater for new construction, you may wonder which system will serve you best.

This is a great question! It is smart to research potential efficiency gains and energy bill savings before your current system calls it quits. If your current furnace or heating boiler is 15 years or older, replacing it could net you anywhere from five to 15 percent gains in efficiency according to Energy Star.

Choosing the most cost-effective new system requires analyzing how much heater you need to efficiently warm your space. This, in turn, can require a complex set of calculations and is best delegated to an HVAC industry professional.

Get in Touch

Do you need some help thinking through your heating options and choosing the best system for your space? We can help!

Give us a call at 613-967-1066 or visit us online.

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