Conversion to natural gas - A $1,000 “green discount” to be offered from September 1

August 31, 2006 - Press releases

Montréal, August 29, 2006 – From September 1 to November 10, 2006, Énergir is going to be offering a $1,000 “green discount” for the conversion of oil-fired central heating equipment to natural gas. This additional discount comes from the Assistance Account for the Substitution of Pollutant Energy Sources (known as CASEP), a fund created at the request of the Régie de l’énergie to protect the environment. This discount, plus the financial assistance already offered by Énergir, which can total up to $1,200, makes converting a central heating system much more affordable.

Package deal from Énergir to convert central heating equipment
- Free connection to the natural gas distribution system (the distribution system must pass in front of the house);
- $500 in financial assistance toward the purchase and installation of natural gas central heating equipment;
- $1,000 “green discount” for users of heating oil who opt for natural gas;
- Additional financial assistance (from $450-$700) toward the purchase of a high energy-efficient heating equipment certified Energy Star®.

A home heated with natural gas can also benefit from added-value household appliances such as a gas stove, fireplace, BBQ, or a hot-water heater. Besides improving the quality of life for those who live there, it also increases the re-sale value of the home.

Life in blue
The number of homes being converted to natural gas has been on the increase for several years, from 544 in 2002 to 1,181 in 2005. Added to which are the approximately 5,000 newly constructed residences connected to the gas distribution system in 2005. In Québec, more than 100,000 families have opted for this safe and secure energy, along with 900 schools, 200 CEGEPs and universities, 900 health establishments and about 55,000 companies.

Natural gas: Very competitive
All sources of energy are subject to price increases. We have only to think about heating oil, which has seen record increases in recent years, or the increases in electricity rates. Currently, as far as the residential market goes, the cost of natural gas is 25% less expensive than heating oil and equal to the cost of electricity.

Énergir re-sells natural gas supplies to its customers at the same price as it pays. This price is fixed monthly according to rules laid down by the Régie de l’énergie. Also, the financial mechanisms in place allow customers to avoid the daily ups and downs of the market by paying for natural gas at a price below the spectacular, highly publicized peak prices.

Throwing money out the window!
The heating system is the first thing to look at in order to reduce energy bills, since 60% of energy costs are directly related to heating a home. Old central heating equipment can lose 30%-40% of each dollar spent on heating since its maximum efficiency rarely exceeds 70%. High energy-efficient natural gas equipment has a rating of up to 95%, plus it respects the environment, resulting in significant energy savings and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. 

As the cold weather approaches, it is always a good idea to check the condition of heating equipment, especially if it is over ten years’ old. Here are the possible signs of wear and tear:

- Wear, noise and tension in the belt (for generators with a belt-driven fan);
- Traces of oil along the pipes, on the tank and under the motor;
- Difficulty starting up the equipment.

Besides considering the cost of conversion, a homeowner about to decide whether or not to replace the central heating equipment should also take into account the comfort and quality of life desired. Natural gas appliances like stoves and fireplaces are synonymous with comfort and efficiency.

A table comparing the costs of replacing oil-fired heating equipment is attached.

Table comparing the costs of replacing oil-fired heating equipment

Source : Frédéric Krikorian  
  Public and Governmental Affairs  
  (514) 598-3656
1717, rue du Havre, Montréal (Québec) H2K 2X3
Téléphone: 514 598-3449
Télécopieur: 514 598-3198

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