How you can save money and modernize your home
Everybody loves found money. And if you’re looking to upgrade your home appliances, retrofit existing appliances, or make the move towards a more sustainable and greener home lifestyle, the Canada Greener Homes Initiative is an absolute game-changer.
Since its launch in 2022, the Greener Homes Grant has transformed home savings and comfort for homeowners across Canada. As a federal grant program that is intended to ‘help homeowners save money, create new jobs across Canada for energy advisors, and fight climate change’, the program provides cash incentive and interest-free loans for homeowners to update and upgrade their homes. Let’s break it down a bit.
How much money is available?
Grant amounts start at $125 and can go up to $5,000. This is money that is given to you as part of your energy-efficient home upgrade, and does not need to be paid back in any form. Grants are given after work is completed, and following a post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation, which will document and share how energy efficient your home has become as a result of the work done.
The initiative also provides up to $600 for the EnerGuide evaluations pre-and-post retrofit. This is advantageous when taking into account EnerGuide evaluation costs, which can range from $600 – $900 for an existing home, to $800 – $1200 for a new home.
There is also an interest-free loan option for eligible homes, which can be applied for after an EnerGuide home evaluation has been carried out. It is important to note that an EnerGuide evaluation MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR THE LOAN. If and when you are approved for the loan, you can receive anywhere between $5,000 – $40,000 in a 10-year, interest-free personal loan.
How do I determine my eligibility?
The government has a handy Greener Home Grants portal, which provides simple checklists and information detailing eligibility requirements and processes. Among other things, eligibility requires that you:
- Own your home
- Conduct an EnerGuide pre-retrofit evaluation prior to beginning the work
- The home in question is your primary residence
- You do not rent your property as primary residence, nor have you rented it within the preceding 6 months
There are certain additional requirements for the provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec – but in general, the amount of your grant will be determined in concert with how much work needs to be done to make the home energy efficient. If it is determined that you only need a new heat pump unit, then the cost of the heat pump is what will be covered by the grant. If it is determined that more expensive work – like windows, solar panels, and doors or home insulation – needs to be done, then the amount will increase. Any amount over and exceeding the $5,000 will need to be covered by the homeowner.
Are there any retrofits that are not eligible for the grant?
Yes. Among the retrofits that are ineligible for the grant are:
- Air conditioners
- Tankless or storage water heaters (other than heat pump water heaters)
- Furnaces (unless you live in a northern or off-grid community)
- Boilers (unless you live in a northern or off-grid community)
Do I get to choose the equipment that I use in my retrofit?
Yes, although there are some eligibility criteria for the grant.
- Space and water heating retrofits must involve a heat pump. Amounts available for grant will vary depending on whether it is a Ground source heat pump, Air source heat pump, or Heat pump water heater
- All equipment (including pumps, solar panels, thermostats, windows, doors, and insulation) must be purchased in Canada – or, if purchased online, purchased from a distributor located in Canada
- Solar panel installation must adhere to CSA standards, and be professionally-installed
- Membranes, Basement walls, and Crawl Space water proofing must all adhere to specific coverage requirements, all of which are listed on the Grant website
There are a handful of other job-specific eligibility criteria that you have to meet during both the pre-and-post retrofit process. To find more information on that criteria, visit the eligibility page of the Canada Green Homes Initiative website. This page will also detail how much you are eligible for on a specific retrofit.
Lightspark has been connecting homeowners with contractors and home improvement professionals since our inception, and access and information about the Canada Greener Homes Initiative is one of the ways we look to help you save money. For more information, contact us today, and we’ll help you get started on the grant and retrofit processes.