My reflections on the Go Green Incentive program
The GreenON Rebates program administered by the IESO on behalf of the GreenOntario Fund will be ending. As such, the IESO is taking steps to wind down the program. For contractors that are in the process of registering, this means that:
- Your registration with the program will not be completed. Contractor registration is closed as of June 19, 2018.
- Only rebate applications already submitted to the GreenON Rebates program will continue to be processed according to eligibility criteria.
- New rebate applications will not be accepted without proof of a firm commitment between the customer and a GreenON Rebates participating contractor being in place prior to June 19, 2018. While installations will need to be complete by August 31, 2018, contractors and customers have until September 30, 2018 to submit these rebate applications to the IESO.
Thank you for your interest in the GreenON Rebates program.
I have inquired about the program and it sounds very good what the government is offering, time will tell how well it works. I will not be able to qualify for the program since I am not a registered Window Wise Contractor.
The registered Window Wise installation program is something that I used to be a part of, actually I was at the ground level when it all started. The organization SAWDAC was reputable and had high standards and I was a member for many years. The qualification of being a Window Wise installer in very good and we try to surpass those standards with every installation. But over the years I began to realize that as the leadership changed, so did the organization. For a good number of reasons, I became disillusioned and I cancelled my membership. Right Home Improvements still maintains the high standards that I always have installed my products with.
It is my opinion that for the sake of ease, the government has associated with a system already in place instead of some other form of accreditation. I will not join the association again. I feel that this program leaves out many trusted and valuable small companies that have a strong record of quality and I believe that this is unfair.
Secondly, I know that the upgrades that people will have to add to the order will add some costs to meet the requirements. And I feel that companies may over charge people just because the people think that the rebate could reduce the overall costs. I have seen this happen in programs in the past. My manufacturer does manufacturer windows that meet the standards, so that is a good start.
So what I am recommending to clients is that they look into taking advantage of the subsidies by getting a quote, including a guarantee of the refund they are promised. If it is reasonable and they feel comfortable, then they should proceed. If they wish to have a competing quotation I am willing to quote this for them. My windows will not meet the insulation factors of the overly and unneeded upgraded windows that the government requires, but the windows will be close and will still be an amazing improvement over what they have now, and the performance will only be marginally less. But I can certainly quote you with the exact product specifications as required by the program if you wish. You can now decide which proposal is better.
So I hope this helps with your decisions. I am always willing to discuss this further with clients if you wish. I am confident in my quality of window and especially my installation.
February 21 update. I am beginning to see more of the approved products that are available to consumers. I am disappointed to see that products that have features like insulating glass that meet the criteria and yet have disappointing frame strength or cheaper hardware, are being installed in consumer's homes under the program. I also see approved and yet under performing caulking and foam products being used that could in the long term undermine the expected value that people had hoped to acquire under the program. Many companies associated with Window Wise will state the high percentage of satisfaction with people's installation. The number, if I remember correctly is based on random inspections, after completion of a project. It is hard to tell upon exterior inspection the strength of one's product and long term durability of products like caulking and foam.
March 3 update. A reality check. One of my clients did take me up on the offer of receiving a competing quote. The other company only could offer them products that met the unneeded standards of the program and did not offer them the options that they desired. The quote came in at an inflated price that would have been approximately $1400.00 more than my quote for the same product, but if they received the maximum refund, the price have been $900.00 more affordable than mine. Quite the savings for sure. But...there was no written guarantee of how much the client was to receive back from the government. The client seriously deliberated the two choices and decided to proceed with Right Home Improvements. There was the trust factor from previous association, plus they could receive the options that they felt they desired and needed. After their final decision, they proceeded with our quotation, saving $ 525.00 by eliminating Go Green Program options which were not desired.
To be honest, we have had a few clients who have not requested a competing quotation from us and decided to proceed with the Go Green Program and have hired another company.
March 21. I have had a number of clients who have needed work done but due to their unique installation requirements, like in an older home where you wish to keep the historical look of the home, would not have been able to qualify because of standards set by the program. If they had decided to proceed with the program, they would have destroyed the appearance of their home. And yet their windows will be enhancing the look of the home and also help the environment.
June 8. Interestingly, I had a physicist client of mine take great interest in the savings that would be had if one would decide to proceed with the government incentive instead of the reasonable cost and choices of our usual window. He calculated that the difference in energy used would be equal to running a 2.5 watt light bulb on a 10 degree difference day and a 7.5 watt light bulb on a 30 degree difference (between outside and inside temperature) day. So again our overzealous government is giving incentive that will never pay back, all on the back of all taxpayers, yes we all pay for this. Thanks again to this client for their diligent work on this.