Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The federal renovation tax credit, the federal home energy grant, the CORE furnace program and more!

Even in these tough economic times, more and more Canadians are considering renovating their homes this year; plus, the tax credits and rebates available make it more attractive than ever.

Keep in mind that each of these incentive programs has an expiry date, so be sure to check out each one to ensure you're not leaving your hard earned tax dollars on the table.

1. The Federal Renovation tax credit. Basically, if you spend at least $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 before February 2010, you may be eligible for this 15% tax credit. Things that are included are paint, bathroom, kitchen, basement renos and more. What's excluded are things like furniture, tools, appliances, etc. For more info, visit http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhmrnvtn-eng.html

2. The Federal ecoENERGY grant. Unlike the Reno tax credit, this process requires an assessment before getting the work/upgrades done in your home. The ecoENERGY grant rewards the home owner for being more eco friendly by upgrading/replacing windows, doors, furnaces, water systems and more. For more info, visit http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/retrofit-homes/questions-answers.cfm and http://www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca/119.html and http://www.atcoenergysense.com/Tools+and+Resources/Grants+and+Rebates/

3. The CORE Program. The City of Edmonton has an initiative called the CORE program which assists low income residents in upgrading their furnace to a high efficiency model (up to $2,000 may be available if you qualify). For more info, visit http://www.edmonton.ca/environmental/documents/Low_Income_FAQ_-_2009-02-05.pdf

4. Garage and Basement Suite incentives. Lastly, the City of Edmonton has also introduced a secondary suites incentive program. Years past, a basement or garage suite in your home, rented out, was technically illegal, although many residents did it anyway. Due to the shortage in affordable housing over the past several years, not only has the City loosened the noose, they've created an incentive program, throwing dollars your way (if you qualify) to renovate your basement or garage if you're willing to rent it out for a period of time to a qualifying renter. For more info, visit http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/resident_services_programs/cornerstones.aspx

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