Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preventative Measures in a Residential Setting (In-Home Energy Audits)

Procedure: The following guidance provides Service Organizations (including Delivery Agents) with protective measures against COVID-19 when working in residential settings. These procedures will help protect Energy Advisors (and associated Service Organizations and Delivery Agents) (each an “EA”) and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

This document is subject to change. Please visit Enbridge Smart Savings website for regular updates.

For Ontario Public Health updates, please visit COVID-19 Public Resources website.

Service Organization Office Space Recommendations

  • Reduce the risk of commuting/office engagement by encouraging employees to work from home (when and where feasible).
  • Daily cleaning protocols for office space.
  • Provide adequate hand hygiene facilities and/or supplies.
  • Eliminate the use of common areas like kitchens and coffee machines.
  • Limit gatherings and stay safely distanced from one another.
  • Avoid travel unless essential. Replace face-to-face meetings with video / tele-conferencing or email.
  • Consider monitoring employee temperatures.

For additional resources/guidance on preventative measures in the workplace, please visit:

Pre-Booking In-Home Energy Audits:

COVID-19 Screening Questions:

  • Coordinate the completion of COVID-19 pre-booking screening questions with homeowners over the phone at the time of booking to ensure occupants are free from COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Once the pre-screening is complete, document in the booking log that a COVID-19 pre-screen was completed over the phone.
    • Enbridge Gas does not suggest that specific responses be documented or archived but would like to confirm with the organization (i.e. Service Organization or Delivery Agent) that a pre-screen was completed.
  • Some of the recommended questions suggested by Enbridge Gas are the following (if any of the answers are ‘yes’ an energy audit should not be scheduled):
    • Has anyone in your house been advised to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days due to secondary exposure to COVID-19 or because of travel?
    • Has anyone in your house had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19?
    • Have you or anyone in your house been diagnosed with COVID-19?
    • Is there anyone in the house currently experiencing any of the following symptoms:
      • Fever
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Sore throat
      • Runny nose
      • Chills
      • Painful to swallow
      • Stuffy nose
      • Headache
      • Muscle & joint pain
      • Feeling unwell
      • Fatigue or severe exhaustion
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Unexplained loss of weight
      • Loss of taste and smell
      • Pink eye
  • Enbridge Gas recommends calling the homeowner before the appointment to ensure that there are no changes to their responses as part of the pre-screen (recommend 24 hours).
  • Complete as much paperwork as possible in advance of the on-site energy assessment. Forward those documents to the homeowner by email, have them sign them and email them back.
  • When and where possible, ask the homeowner to ensure that only one person is in the home during the on-site energy assessment for everyone's safety. If there are additional people in the home such as children, please ask that they wait in another room while the energy audit is taking place.

Recommended Best Practices on Managing the Collection of Documentation

Best practices for managing the collection of documentation for our Home Winterproofing and Home Efficiency Rebate programs.
Home Winterproofing Program Home Efficiency Rebate
Request in advance that the homeowner take pictures of their income documentation / government assistance documents and Enbridge Gas bill and securely email them to the Delivery Agent. Request that the homeowner take pictures of their Enbridge Gas and Property Tax Bill and securely email them to the Service Organization or Energy Advisor.
For the participant form, the homeowner should use their own pen and ensure proper washing of hands before and after or use hand sanitizer Suggest that homeowner pays for their energy audit by e-transfer so that there is limited exposure to touching credit/debit cards, cheque or cash.
EA to clean phone, camera, credit card reader, and other devices frequently used – before and after each on-site energy assessment. EA to clean phone, camera, credit card reader, and other devices frequently used – before and after each on-site energy assessment.
The NRCan form must be taken with the Energy Advisor at the final energy assessment. Please ensure that the homeowner uses their own pen to sign the document to avoid cross-contamination.

Before the visit:

Ensure you have the following materials available:

  • Adequate hand hygiene facilities and/or supplies (such as hand sanitizer and/or cleaning wipes)
    NOTE: Acceptable hand washing alternatives where running water is not available include alcohol-based hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing wipes (>60% Alcohol), or portable hand washing materials (e.g. water, soap, paper towels). Both methods require 20 seconds of rubbing to be effective.
  • Disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves.
  • Disposable face mask (e.g. surgical mask, dust mask, filtering face piece such as an N95, etc.).
  • Waste bags for single use PPE and cleaning/disinfecting waste.

At the start of the visit:

  1. State the reason for the visit and advise homeowner that the Service Organization has a health assessment processes in place to ensure contractors are not at work if there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  2. Advise the homeowner that in order to keep both the Service Organization employees and the public safe, physical distancing practices will be followed during the visit and ask that the homeowner remain in another room, other than where the work will be performed.
  3. Ask the following questions when first arriving at the property as a precautionary measure:
    1. Has anyone in your house been advised to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days due to secondary exposure to COVID-19 or because of travel?
    2. Has anyone in your house had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19?
    3. Have you or anyone in your house been diagnosed with COVID-19?
    4. Is there anyone in the house currently experiencing any of the following symptoms
      1. Fever
      2. Cough
      3. Shortness of breath
      4. Difficulty breathing
      5. Sore throat
      6. Runny nose
      7. Chills
      8. Painful to swallow
      9. Stuffy nose
      10. Headache
      11. Muscle & joint pain
      12. Feeling unwell
      13. Fatigue or severe exhaustion
      14. Nausea or vomiting
      15. Diarrhea
      16. Unexplained loss of weight
      17. Loss of taste and smell
      18. Pink eye

If the answer to all the questions above are ‘no’, the Energy Advisor can advise homeowner that they can proceed with the in-home energy audit. If the EA requires the homeowner’s presence, he/she must keep six (6) feet apart (2 metres).

If the answer to any of the questions are ‘yes,’ the Energy Advisor must refuse the in-home energy audit and should prompt the homeowner to reschedule their appointment when everyone in the home is healthy again and exhibiting no symptoms.

During the visit:

  • Before entering the house, wash or sanitize hands.
  • Before entering the house, we encourage you to review the process and procedures you will be following with the homeowner prior to entering.
  • Upon arrival, please ask the homeowner the recommended pre-screening questions. If the responses are all ‘no’, work can be completed following physical distancing practices of six feet (2 meters) and good hygiene practices. Energy Auditors may still elect to don some type of facial barrier as an extra precaution or upon request by homeowner. If physical distancing of six feet (2 meters) is not achievable, Energy Auditors should maintain distance to the extent feasible and don a facial barrier (surgical mask, dust mask, or filtering facepiece such as an N95 respirator).
    • Note: If a N95 respirator is required for the inspection work (i.e. to protect against airborne contaminants in the attic or crawl space), the EA may elect to don the N95 respirator at the beginning of the visit and wear for the duration of the visit.
  • Wherever possible, ask the homeowner to ensure that only one person is in the home during the on-site energy assessment for everyone's safety.
  • At all times, stay at least six (6) feet (2 metres) away from the homeowner.
  • Spend the least amount of time possible inside the homeowner home while ensuring that the experience is not rushed or missing necessary steps.
  • Avoid being in small rooms or enclosed spaces with the homeowner. • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands may pick up viruses when they touch many surfaces. If contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with potentially contaminated surfaces (high frequency touch points such as door handles, countertops, etc.).
  • Practice respiratory hygiene. Should you happen to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • While working on the exterior of the house, ensure that the homeowner remains indoors. If the homeowner would like to monitor what is happening outdoors, please ask him/her to remain six (6) feet away (2 metres) as the work is being conducted.
  • For paperwork requiring pictures that have not been previously received by email, have the homeowner neatly place them on a table and then take the pictures of the documents yourself without touching.
  • For additional paperwork that require signatures and are not signed in advance of the onsite energy assessment, ask the homeowner to have them signed and laid out on a table for you to take pictures.

After the visit:

  1. Sanitize any tools or equipment that you came in contact with such as highly susceptible surfaces like counters, tabletops and doorknobs, and use appropriate disinfectants after use.
    • Common disinfectant solutions to be used for flu virus destruction on surfaces include but are not limited to diluted bleach (5 tablespoons [74ml] of bleach per gallon [3.8L] of water), sodium hypochlorite, granular chlorine, and alcohol based (60% or greater) solutions.
    • In Canada, the Health Canada Drug Product Database online query may be used to determine which products are approved for use by Health Canada by searching for approved disinfectants and then verifying they are viricidal. Alternatively, manufacturer websites can be referenced to verify products can demonstrate effectiveness against COVID-19 and may be utilized with good judgement.
  2. Remove PPE following the acceptable doffing techniques and in the correct sequence to reduce contamination risks.
  3. Dispose of single use PPE/paper towels/wipes as regular waste in a plastic waste bag. Before entering your vehicle, clean hands with available hand hygiene facilities or other handwashing alternatives.
    • Note: Hand sanitizing wipes can be disposed of as regular waste.
    • Note: If applicable, wipe down the surface of any water jugs that may be used for washing hands; only operate the dispensing valve after disposable nitrile gloves have been used.

Ontario Public Health Links