Federal Government Launches New Home Retrofit Program
The federal government has launched a new program that offers homeowners grants to retrofit their homes and make them more energy efficient. The Canada Greener Home Grants program, funded to the tune of $2.6 billion, will offer homeowners grants of up to $5,000 that can be put toward energy-saving projects such as:
• Improved insulation;
• Air sealing, thermostats;
• Energy efficient heating and cooling equipment;
• Solar panels; and
• Energy-efficient windows and doors.
The program will also include grants of up to $600 that can be used for EnerGuide home energy audits. The Canada Greener Home Grants program is expected to award 700,000 grants over seven years.
There are certain eligibility criteria that must be met in order for the homeowner to take advantage of the grants, including but not limited to:
• Provide proof of ownership;
• Program applies to a homeowner’s primary residence only;
• Eligible property types include ground-related homes and small multi-unit residential buildings up to 3 storeys;
• Applies to homes built six months ago or older;
• Complete a pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation;
• Complete at least one retrofit that is both eligible and recommended by the energy advisor in order to be reimbursed.
Applications are now available on the Natural Resources Canada website. An application starts with an energy evaluation by a certified adviser. That adviser visits an applicant's home and determines which energy-saving measures would qualify for reimbursement. If the homeowner chooses to proceed, a licensed contractor would then be hired to conduct the retrofits. After an inspection of the completed work, the homeowner would be reimbursed.
Please check for additional information on program eligibility and to learn more about the initiative.
To support the anticipated need for energy advisors, the government recently announced that it is providing up to $10 million to recruit, train and mentor 2,000 new energy auditors.
In this year's federal budget, the government proposed creating a separate fund of $4.4 billion over seven years through which the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) could offer homeowners interest-free loans of up to $40,000 in exchange for authorized energy-efficient retrofit projects. These loans could be available as soon as this summer, and it is believed that more than 200,000 households would take part in that program.
The Canada Greener Homes Grant program, the hiring of 2,000 new energy advisers, and the yet-to-be-launched $40,000 retrofit loan program through CMHC are all part of a bigger greener homes initiatives that is expected to be announced soon.