An itinerant merchant offers to sell you a heating appliance (e.g. a heat pump) or solar panels. Beware of any claims from the merchant that the appliance will cost you next to nothing because you will save energy and benefit from government programs. Merchants are prohibited from making false or misleading statements.
Government programs and tax credits
Energy efficiency programs and tax credits that aim to encourage eco-friendly home renovations certainly do exist. However, the government bodies responsible for such programs do not hire representatives to sell you anything at your home or over the phone.
As a homeowner, it is up to you to determine whether you satisfy the conditions to benefit from such programs (eligibility criteria, eligible work, financial aid, etc.). Don't just take the word of a salesperson. His or main intention is not for you to benefit from a program, but rather to sell you an appliance.
You can obtain information on:
- the Rénoclimat program from Transition énergétique Québec. This program will guide you through your residential renovation project in order to improve your home's energy efficiency. You will benefit from personalized tips following a visit from a Rénoclimat advisor, all at a low cost. You may also qualify for financial assistance for various renovations, such as the installation of a heat pump.
- the RénoVert tax credit from Revenu Québec. The eligibility period for this tax credit ended on March 31, 2019. Any eco-friendly home renovation work agreements entered into after that date are therefore automatically ineligible.
A salesperson may try to lure you with claims of significant savings on your electricity bill with the appliance he or she is selling (heat pump, solar panels, etc.). You will probably have difficulty checking those claims... As a result, you can ask the salesperson to put those savings claims in writing on the contract. If the salesperson refuses to do so, the claims may simply be false promises.
You plan to install solar panels? Hydro-Québec offers a calculator to estimate what it would cost to install panels, how much energy they could produce in a year and how long it would take to recoup your investment.
Take the time to think things over
Generally speaking, an offer made today will still be valid tomorrow. Take the time to think things over. The Office recommends not signing a contract on the spot.
It is a good idea to ask the salesperson to give you a copy of the documents related to the contract he or she wants to enter into with you. You can take the time to read through them and assess the value of the offer with a clear mind. If the salesperson refuses to leave you these documents, this may be a sign that you're doing well to think twice about it...
If a merchant has given you false or misleading information, you can contact the Office de la protection du consommateur to report the merchant.
Last update : October 16, 2020
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.