Nova Scotians planning to build a new home can benefit from generous rebates, permanent energy savings and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions with the help of a new energy efficiency rebate program. The PerformancePlus program provides builders and homeowners with expert advice on new home plans to help build in better energy efficiency choices. “Energy-efficient homes make life more affordable for Nova Scotians by permanently reducing energy use and protecting against future energy price increases,” Bill Estabrooks, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia, said today, Sept. 7. “They also reduce the environmental footprint of housing, and will help the province achieve its commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.” “The program also encourages new home construction, creating more local jobs for skilled trades and strengthening our province’s economy,” said Mr. Estabrooks. Rebates ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 will encourage Nova Scotians to build more energy-efficient homes. Rebate amounts are based on a home’s energy performance, as indicated by its EnerGuide rating. Homes must achieve a rating of 83 or above (on a scale of 0 to 100) to qualify for PerformancePlus rebates. “By participating in the Performance Plus EnerGuide evaluation process, homeowners and builders will be in a position to make informed decisions about the energy-efficiency features which will effect affordability, their comfort level and energy costs today and over the life of the home,” said Terry Watters of Sustainable Housing and Education Consultants. “You wouldn’t buy a car today without knowing the fuel mileage so why would you build a new house without knowing how well it’s supposed to perform?” An additional $200 rebate is available for PerformancePlus homes that are solar ready, and a $1,000 rebate is available if solar equipment is installed. PerformancePlus homes may also qualify for rebates through the province’s Solar Rebate Program and from Nova Scotia Power’s rebate program. PerformancePlus registration begins immediately. The program is capped at 1,200 homes, on a first-come, first-served basis. PerformancePlus replaces the EnerGuide for New Homes program for new entrants. “Our company has been building energy-efficient homes for a number of years and we see the value it provides to our clients,” says Tamara Barker Watson of Whitestone Developments. “Each home we build is EnerGuide rated and this shows our clients the commitment we have to providing them with energy savings. We are pleased to see the government further promote energy-efficient housing.” Nova Scotia is one of the first provinces in Canada to incorporate energy-efficiency requirements in the building code for new homes. This program encourages builders and Nova Scotians to build even more efficient homes. A PerformancePlus toolkit is available at www.conservens.ca/performanceplus or by calling 1-800-670-4636. The toolkit provides eligibility criteria and registration information, as well as useful information on a range of topics, including building an energy-efficient home, choosing a builder, and designing your home to use passive solar energy. To register for the program, contact AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service at 1-877-734-4674, the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association at 1-800-668-2001, or Sustainable Housing and Education Consultants Inc. at 1-877-722-2842.