From the Summer 2023 Issue
Stop Throwing Money Out the Window!
Your Condo: Window Replacement
2023 will be an important year for townhouses, row houses, low-rise condominiums, and the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. This year, generous grants are available to replace old windows with new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient ones.
Residential and commercial buildings account for 18% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada1. Residential windows account for up to 35% of home heat loss during the heating season2. By changing old windows for “Most Efficient Energy Star Certified” windows, total home energy use could be reduced by 9%, and GHG emissions could be lowered by more than five megatones3.
The best-rated windows for 2023, those Most Efficient Energy Star Certified (ER of ≥40 with U-Factor of ≤ 1.05 (0.18)), are made from cellular PVC as per Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) website4. Cellular PVC windows have the highest Energy Rating (ER) number of all residential windows in Canada, according to the NRCan website5.
Why Does All This Matter?
The federal government, in conjunction with Enbridge Gas, launched an ambitious grant program to retrofit existing townhouses, row houses and low-rise condominium buildings (three storeys or less) with energy-efficient windows. By replacing old windows with new, more energy-efficient ones, homeowners can save money on heating costs and lower GHG emissions, thus helping Canada reach its climate objectives as laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Since Canada’s present emissions trajectory for GHG emissions is projected to be 742Mt by 2030, well above the target of 523 Mt6, the federal government has decided to expedite and expand the eligibility for grants for different types of homes for Ontario. In January of 2023, NRCan formed a joint venture with Enbridge Gas and is now offering grants of up to $10,000 in Ontario under the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+) program. Eligible types of dwellings under the HER+ program are:
- Single and semi-detached homes
- Row housing
- Low-rise, multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) that are three storeys or less with a footprint not exceeding 600 m2.
- The unit must be heated with natural gas provided by Enbridge Gas and have an individual gas meter.
Where to Start?
Contact a reputable window and door company for a quote on energy-efficient windows. The company will connect you with a credible energy advisor who will pre-qualify the property and conduct an initial energy assessment for each unit. The condo board will be provided with an NRCan corporate form to sign to receive the rebate directly from Enbridge Gas. The condo board is encouraged to pay directly for the energy assessment for each unit since it can receive $600 back from Enbridge Gas for the assessment on top of the window rebates.
The energy advisor will also have the condo homeowner sign an agreement transferring the rebates to the condominium corporation. The HER+ grants offer up to $325 per window opening if the old window is replaced with a Most Efficient Energy Star Certified window registered on the NRCan website. Please note that the
window must be made in Canada to be eligible for the grant.
Once the work is completed, a post-retrofit energy assessment is required. The window company will provide an invoice for each condo unit showing that the windows have been paid in full. After the post-retrofit energy assessment, the energy advisor will submit all the paperwork on the condo board’s behalf to obtain the rebates. The rebate cheques are issued approximately 90-120 days after the registered energy advisor has submitted the post-retrofit results to Enbridge Gas via
So, stop throwing money out the window and inform your condo board directors of the grant opportunities available to them. An informed property manager will help the condo board save money and help reduce Canada’s GHG emissions!
Thomas Noël is the director of the Nordik Windows and Doors condominium division, the largest window and door replacement company in Ontario for the residential sector, including townhouses and condominium complexes four storeys or less. Thomas sits on the Expert Advisory Council for Windows for the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). He has advised on the launch of the $2.6 billion Canada Greener Homes Grant and the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program.
- Statistics based on the 2013 Fenestration Canada market study
- https://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/statistics/parliament/2017-2018/pdf/parliament17-18.pdf page 8 & 25 Report to Parliament under the Energy Efficiency Act 2017-2018
- Paving the Road to 2030 and Beyond: Market Transformation Road Map for Energy Efficient Equipment in the Building Sector. Supporting the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy (page 6). https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/emmc/pdf/2018/en/18-00072-nrcanroad-map-eng.pdf
- file:///C:/Users/Verdun/Downloads/Strengthening%20Canada’s%20Building%20Code%20Process%20to%20Achieve%20Net-Zero%20Emissions.pdf Strengthening Canada’s Building Code Process to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions Kevin Lockhart and Brendan Haley October 2020