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Eco-grants 

These programs might push you to makes some changes around the house and put some more coin in your pocket.

The ecoENERGY Retrofit Program Natural Resources Canada offers a residential energy efficiency assessment service for homes. Owners can qualify for federal grants by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. The maximum grant is $5,000. For more information, visit: oee.nrcan.gc.ca. The provincial arm of the program, the EnerGuide for New Houses and EnerGuide for Homes, is managed by Conserve Nova Scotia. Contact them at conservens.ca/energuide or 1-800-670-4636.

ConserveNS also runs a rebate program for installing solar heating or solar water heating systems into your home. It provides a 15 percent rebate of the installed cost of a solar air heating system for residential, institutional or commercial use. The maximum provincial rebate tops out at $20,000. Call the number above for details, or see conservens.ca

If you use insured financing from the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation to buy an energy-efficient home and make the energy-saving renovations detailed in the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program, you may be eligible for a 10% refund on the mortgage loan insurance premium. Check out cmhc-schl.gc.ca for more information.

 The ecoAUTO Rebate Program offers Canadian drivers rebates from $1,000 to $2,000. That could be you if between March 20, 2007 and December 31, 2008 you bought or entered into a long-term lease (12 months or more) for a fuel-efficient vehicle that met the required criteria. Unfortunately, the deadline to apply for the rebate was March 31, 2009, and it doesn't apply to 2009 models. If you want the rebate to continue, write your MP!

Clean NS is offering a post-graduate environmental research scholarship of $2,000 a year to an environmental sciences student in Nova Scotia. 420-7933 or email nsider@clean.ns.ca.

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