New federal grant and loan to improve home energy performance
By Christopher Phillips, Founder and President of Greening Homes Ltd.
In March, I wrote about federal support to help homeowners offset the costs of home energy retrofits that improve energy efficiency and comfort, while reducing energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
In June the federal government announced an update.
Its new Canada Greener Homes Grant offers homeowners up to $600 for the cost of pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations, and up to $5,000 total for the implementation of eligible retrofits.
The program is slated to last for seven years and provide up to 700,000 grants.
Like the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program that ran about a decade ago, the Canada Greener Homes Grant works as follows: an energy auditor visits your house for a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation to recommend appropriate upgrades. Recommendations may include and are not limited to air sealing, insulation, high performing windows, doors and fixtures, and/or high-performance heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It will be up to you to decide which recommended retrofits work best for your budget and renovation plans.
Upon completion of the recommended work, the energy auditor returns for a post review. You will receive a rebate amount based on this assessment. Remember to retain all receipts, including that of the auditor.
If your home is heated with a natural gas furnace or boiler and you complete at least two retrofits, you are eligible for the Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate, which also offers up to $5,000 for work completed, and $550 for the home energy audit.
Funds from both programs are distributed post work. To assist with upfront costs, the City of Toronto offers a little help with HELP, its Home Energy Loan Program, which provides you with a low-interest loan of up to $75,000 to cover the cost of home energy improvements. The City also offers grants for green roofs and cool roofs on residential homes. Visit Live Green Toronto to learn more.
If you want to create a highly efficient home, the federal government will offer homeowners interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for deep home retrofits.
As extreme rain events are on the rise due to the warming climate, the City of Toronto wants to help you protect against basement flooding. Its Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program covers up to 80 percent of the cost of backwater valves and sump pumps.
When planning a home renovation, it is highly advisable that you factor in energy performance and resiliency measures to improve comfort while reducing energy bills, particularly now that a rising fee on carbon will only make fossil fuel energy more expensive in the years ahead. Happily, governments and Enbridge are providing financial incentives to make it that much easier to retrofit your home without breaking the bank.
One final word. In proceeding with your energy performance upgrades, I encourage you to ensure that the building materials you choose are low carbon and non-toxic to truly lower your home’s carbon footprint and help ensure the health of you and your family.
Photo of work on exterior insulation of Greening Homes’ award-winning deep energy retrofit of an East York home.