Home improvement Rebates - FAQ

FAQ for homeowners Home improvement rebates

Everything you need to know about our Home Improvement Rebates and your eligibility.

How are the rebates calculated? Toggle content

This is a performance-based energy retrofit program that pays rebates based on modeled energy savings. The energy savings calculations are based on NRCan modelling standards. Essentially, the more energy your upgrade saves, the larger the rebate.

Do I have to use a contractor to get the Home Improvement Rebates? Toggle content

Yes, you will need to use a participating contractor to qualify for the Home Improvement Rebate. Please refer to our Participating Contractors list to find a contractor in your area.

We have established a network of contractors to choose from that meet specific requirements to participate. We want to ensure they are a registered business and that they have the appropriate insurance before they enter your home. These contractors will be trained to facilitate the application process on your behalf. Once your application has been approved, the cheque will be sent to you, the property owner, directly.

How does DWHR work? Toggle content

Hot water that you’ve used in your dishwasher, washing machine or shower (most valuably) goes through your home plumbing system to the sewer, along with the energy used to heat it. A DWHR system replaces a portion of your home’s plumbing system with a conductive material (usually copper) that transfers the heat from the waste water to the incoming water. Consequently, less energy is required for your water heating system to get water from the municipal line (or well) up to the temperature you need for dishes, clothes or personal hygiene.

How is DWHR beneficial? Toggle content

First and foremost, a DWHR device will reduce the amount of energy required to heat the same volume of water when used in a constant flow cycle (i.e. showers). The device silently and passively recovers heat and reduces the energy required to heat water requiring no maintenance.

How difficult is DWHR to install? Toggle content

A plumber with experience installing DHWR devices can install them in 2 to 3 hours. They will need to access the main plumbing stack so if it is enclosed behind a wall, additional effort would be required to gain access to the plumbing stack.

How do I connect my showers to the DWHR device? Toggle content

Your showers are the main driver of the energy savings and rebates. Showers are connected to a home’s plumbing stack and most DWHR devices replace a portion of the plumbing stack. You can find out how many of your showers are connected to a common stack by running a shower, then checking to see if you can hear or feel the water rushing through the 3–4” black ABS pipe going to the sewer.

Does DWHR work if my family takes baths? Toggle content

When you draw a bath, you move the hot water through your hot water heating device with no water going down the drain. When the bath is over, the warm water would go through the DWHR device; however, since no hot water is being asked from your hot water heating device, there is no cold water flowing through the DWHR device into the hot water heating device, so any recovered heat does not reduce the amount of energy needed for hot water heating.

When using DWHR, am I mixing my waste water with incoming clean water? Toggle content

No. The cold, clean water coming into your home is always separated from the waste water being used to heat it.

I installed a DWHR system last year, is my installation eligible? Toggle content

Only projects started after February 1, 2018 are eligible for participation. Installations prior to this date cannot be claimed for a rebate since the rebate did not influence your decision to purchase the system and energy savings associated with your retrofit can not be applied to this program.

How do I apply for my DWHR rebate? Toggle content

Like other rebate applications through Home Improvement Rebates, you’ll need to select a Participating Contractor who is provided training on how to submit claims. The contractor will photograph the plumbing stack before the installation of the DWHR system, photograph the plumbing stack after the installation of the DWHR device and collect your signature on a customer release form. They will share all of this information along with the invoice for the work with the program administrator. Once submitted, it will be reviewed and once approved you’ll be asked to review the claim details, to confirm the spelling of your name and address, and to accept the program Terms and Conditions.

How much will I get in rebates for my DWHR system? Toggle content

Like other rebate categories in Home Improvement Rebates, your specific rebate is based on the estimated energy savings based on calculators created from NRCan’s residential energy modelling software (Hot2000). Rebates will be impacted by the size (diameter and length) of the DWHR system you choose, the flow rate of your showerheads and how many shower drains the DWHR device is connected to (i.e. in some homes, two showers drain through the same plumbing stack). Your contractor will be able to give you a precise rebate estimate based on the specific opportunity in your home.

What will happen after I’ve found a contractor? Toggle content

The contractor will explain the options for the program and, depending on the type of installation, will determine the energy savings and subsequent incentive amount available under the program guidelines.

Can I retrofit my heated garage or workshop since it’s useful space for me? Toggle content

The energy savings calculations are based on NRCan modelling standards. Garages or other outbuildings are not included as part of the heated envelope for energy modelling and energy savings calculations and are therefore not part of the program.

Why aren’t additions or new construction included? Toggle content

While we encourage builders and contractors to embrace best energy practices, this program is focused on energy reduction. Since new construction and new additions are new energy loads, they represent an increase in energy demand and are therefore not included in this home improvement program designed to reduce energy consumption.

How do I get a rebate for my insulation upgrade? Toggle content

Once you select your participating contractor, they will gather the required information necessary to determine your eligibility for a rebate. Once the work is completed, the contractor will submit the paid invoice, and photos of the before condition and the after condition of your home as part of the rebate application. You will receive an email asking you to review and approve the project details provided by your contractor. Once your application is approved, a cheque will be issued directly to the homeowner within six to eight weeks.

How do I get a rebate for my tankless hot water heater or triple glazed low-E argon windows? Toggle content

Once you select your participating contractor and the work is completed, the contractor will submit the paid invoice, and photos of the before condition and the after condition of your home as part of the rebate application. You will receive an email asking you to review and approve the project details provided by your contractor. Once your application is approved, a cheque will be issued directly to the homeowner within six to eight weeks.

Is there a requirement for an Energy Efficiency Alberta representative to visit my home after the work is completed before or after my rebate is issued? Toggle content

Third Party Evaluators will complete spot audits at randomly selected homes to confirm the work completed is consistent with the rebate being claimed. The purpose of this visit is to ensure quality of work, to verify the work completed matches what was indicated in the application and gain feedback on the experience with the given contractor. Selected homeowners will be contacted by one of Summerhill’s Customer Service Representatives, who will work with the homeowner to schedule a convenient time for the evaluator to confirm the work. This will occur within six months of the claim submission.

How will my personal information be handled and by whom? Toggle content

Personal information will be handled under the provincial government’s privacy legislation and regulations. Any contractor employed by the Government of Alberta is obligated by law to meet these standards.

Why can’t I do the work myself? Toggle content

*If you’re looking to complete the work yourself, take a look at our Home Energy Plan which includes incentives for D-I-Y projects.

A contractor-led program helps to ensure that the work being completed is done in line with building code expectations and industry best practices.

By partnering with participating contractors, Energy Efficiency Alberta is also able to employ standardized measurement protocols to accurately determine the amount of energy savings that will be realized through the installation

FAQ for contractors Home Improvement Rebates

I’m a contractor already included in the home builder database at Municipal Affairs. Do I have to go through another process to be considered as a registered contractor for this program? Toggle content

Yes, registration is required for participation in this program and can be started by clicking here.

Do contractors provide the rebates to customers? Toggle content

No. Customers receive the rebate directly from Energy Efficiency Alberta. The contractor can only quote a rebate amount utilizing the calculator on the contractor portal and must submit the rebate application on the customer’s behalf.

What are the contractor qualifications? Toggle content

Each contractor must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Are committed to ensuring compliance with safety and regulatory standards, including appropriate licenses and permits as applicable.
  • Have industry standard insurance coverage including commercial general liability insurance.
  • Have an account in good standing with Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB).
  • Have or will participate in future training as it becomes available to maintain their status in the network.
  • Possess a GST number – to confirm their business is in operation and registered.
I am a contractor. How do I get on your list of registered contractors? Toggle content

You can register as a participating contractor by join the Efficiency Professionals Network. Each contractor must meet the contractor qualifications, which includes participating in future training as it becomes available. Additional criteria for tankless hot water heater installers include a Plumber’s Certificate and a Level 2 Gas Certificate.

What if I give the customer the incorrect information about the rebates? Toggle content

The consequences are similar to under-quoting the work. Neither Energy Efficiency Alberta or its delivery partners will be responsible for program misrepresentation by contractors. A remedy should be sought between the contractor and the homeowner.

A customer is calling me saying they received a rebate for the wrong amount. Should I pay them? Toggle content

Our program implementor, Summerhill manages the issuance of the rebate cheques. There are quality assurance measures in place to ensure the customer receives the correct rebate amount. If somehow the customer receives the incorrect rebate amount, Summerhill would look into how this error occurred, and if the customer is correct, Summerhill would issue another cheque for the outstanding balance.