Earlier this year the federal government rolled out its Canada Greener Homes Grant program, a $2.6 billion grant that will help homeowners make their homes a lot more energy-efficient.
Up to 700,000 grants are expected to be given out over a 7-year period, with homeowners receiving up to a total of $5,600.
If you have been putting off that home renovation to replace your old windows and doors or to improve insulation and install solar panels, the Canada Greener Homes Grant can help make your dreams come true.
What is the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
As part of Canada’s plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canada Greener Homes Grant will offer homeowners up to $5,600 to make their primary residence more energy efficient.
You may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 to cover energy efficiency retrofits to your home and up to $600 for home evaluations.
This program is being administered by National Resources Canada.
In addition to the grant, homeowners will be able to access an interest-free loan of up $40,000 starting this summer to help them complete extensive home retrofits. This loan will be offered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Who Qualifies for the Home Energy Retrofit Program?
To qualify for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you need to meet the following eligibility requirements.
Home Ownership: You must be able to provide proof that you own the home (e.g., property tax bill) and it is your primary residence (e.g., driver’s license).
Only one homeowner can apply, however, First Nation band councils and housing management organizations can apply on behalf of multiple homes.
Property Type: The property types eligible for the program are:
· Single and semi-detached houses
· Row housing
· All-season cottages
· Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
· Permanently moored floating homes
· Residential portions of mixed-use buildings
· Small multi-unit residential building that are three storeys or less and have a footprint of 600m2 or less
New homes that are 6 months old or less are not eligible for the grant.
EnerGuide Evaluation: You must complete a pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation by an NRCan-registered energy advisor.
To manage the increased demand for EnerGuide assessments, up to 2,000 new energy advisors are being hired and trained.
At least one eligible and recommended retrofit project must be completed and you must be able to provide the necessary documents when required.
The cost of EnerGuide evaluations conducted prior to December 1, 2020, are not eligible for reimbursement.
Eligibility Retrofits: Your planned retrofit or upgrade must be recommended by an energy advisor. Also, all the equipment or materials used must be purchased in Canada.
Which Home Retrofits are Covered?
Eligible retrofits include:
1. Home Insulation: Up to $5,000 is covered and can include the attic, exterior wall, floor, basement, and crawlspace insulation.
2. Air-Sealing: Reimbursement is up to $1,000. This includes making improvements to limit the air escaping from your house.
3. Windows and Doors: Upgrading to new windows and doors that are ENERGY STAR® rated. There is a cap of $5,000.
4. Thermostats: Get up to $50 to add a smart thermostat to your home.
5. Heating: Includes replacing heat pumps, furnaces, and hot water heaters, so you can cut your energy costs. Up to $5,000 is reimbursed for these upgrades.
6. Renewable Energy: This includes installing solar panels and inverters that are certified to C5A standards. Up to $5,000 is provided.
7. Resiliency Measures: When you upgrade your home to withstand fire, flooding, loss of power, etc., and as part of other energy retrofits, you may qualify for up to $2,625 in Greener Homes Grants.
A detailed list of eligible home retrofits can be found here.
How To Apply For The Greener Homes Grant
You can apply for the Greener Homes program here.
If you live in Quebec and Nova Scotia, you can apply for the Canada Greener Homes Grant through your provincial program.
In Nova Scotia, this program is Efficiency Nova Scotia, and in Quebec, it is the Rénoclimat program.
Residents of other provinces and territories can apply through NRCan.
If you have questions about the program or application process, call NRCan at 1-833-674-8282 or TTY at 1-800-465-7735.
After registering, you can book your pre-retrofit evaluation. An energy advisor completes an assessment and recommends retrofits that will improve your home’s energy efficiency. The cost of this audit is $400+HST.
Based on your Renovation Upgrade Report, you can go ahead to complete some or all of the recommended and eligible retrofits.
Document all the upgrades performed and keep receipts. Be sure to confirm in advance that the make and model of the retrofits you are planning are approved! For example, if you're installing a heat pump, there is a list of approved units that are qualified for the grant.
After the upgrades are completed, book a post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation by an energy advisor. The cost of this audit is $200+HST. Following this, you can upload your evaluation reports and receipts online.
The maximum reimbursement for EnerGuide evaluations is $600 and you can get up to $5,000 for eligible retrofits.