The Greener Homes Program is a government-funded initiative that will offer homeowners across Canada up to $5,000 in grant money for retrofits, purchases, or installations that will reduce their home’s energy consumption.
Applications are now open for the NRCan initiative which aims to help increase the energy efficiency of Canadian homes and encourage the transition away from fossil fuel-based heating and cooling. This is fantastic news if you’re preparing to make the switch to an alternative energy source like geothermal or even just reduce the energy draw of their home. Either way, the program allows you to invest in upgrading the comfort and energy-efficiency of your home.
What is the Greener Homes Program?
The Greener Homes Grant Program is a Canada-wide government initiative that will provide up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to help finance energy efficiency upgrades being made by Canadian homeowners.
This rebate is retroactive to December 1st, 2020. That means homeowners who have made eligible improvements can apply for the grant as well, provided they can prove that their home improvements qualify.
The grant applies to upgrades like window and door replacement, insulation, and we expect it also applies to renewable energy measures like heat pumps. Additional details of what will be deemed a qualifying expense can be found through your EnerGuide advisor.
As part of the program, NRCan will also be launching a $40,000 loan initiative sometime in summer 2021. While the criteria for this element of the program are still unclear, it’s likely the loan will aim to help homeowners transition to clean energy.
If you’re looking to switch to alternative energy, you could use the up-front rebate to make the improvements that will help a new system function at maximum efficiency – any changes that mitigate the heat loss of the home — then, you could apply for the $40,000 loan to finance the actual system.
Who is eligible for the grant program?
To be eligible for the Greener Homes grant, a homeowner’s primary residence must meet the criteria for the performance of an EnerGuide home audit. Eligible residences include:
For more information on eligible properties visit NRCan.
How do I get the rebate?
EnerGuide Home Evaluation
To be eligible for reimbursement, you need to get an EnerGuide home evaluation prior to making the changes to your home. This audit will identify the efficiency-improving retrofits, purchases, and installations you can take action on that would be covered under the grant program.
The audit also provides you with valuable information about the energy performance of your home which can help you prioritize and future upgrades, as well as resolve any pressing issues costing you comfort and money.
Independent EnerGuide energy advisors who are registered with NRCan can perform your home evaluation. You can start this process now. Find an energy advisor in your region using this NRCan postal code search tool.
Retrofit your home – but make sure you keep documentation
Following your EnerGuide evaluation you can start making the changes recommended by your advisor. Receiving your reimbursement requires you to keep all the documentation of your retrofit process. Keep the invoices from your home evaluation as well as any invoices for your eligible home improvements.
Your advisor will take photos before and after the work has been completed and provide you with post-retrofit documentation on your home’s energy performance. This documentation will. Be used for when you apply for reimbursement.
Become an Energy Auditor
The Greener Homes initiative includes a $10 million commitment to recruit and train up to 2,000 new energy advisors across Canada to support the rollout of the program and the increased demand for EnerGuide evaluations.
NRCan is seeking proposals from qualified and interested individuals with a deadline of July 8th 2021. You can register for information webinars, learn more about eligibility, and download their applicant guide here.
How will this program help Canadians?
The Greener Homes Program is a great opportunity for homeowners to get a start on reducing the CO2 footprint of their home. Even smaller changes like increased insulation or newer windows can decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
For those preparing to transition to renewable energy sources the $5,000 probably won’t cover the cost for that new system but it will help you get ahead on the improvements necessary to prepare your home for installation. Retrofitting your home to increase energy efficiency will reduce the output size of the renewable system you end up getting installed – saving you money and improving your home’s comfort in the meantime.
For example, retrofitting could make the difference between your home requiring a 5-ton or 6-ton system. The smaller the energy load of the building, the smaller the system’s price tag. Plus, you’re optimizing the heat retention of your home so your new system can run at maximum efficiency.
If you’re still trying to decide when to make the transition to renewable energy sources, the launch of this program provides you with substantial incentive to start the process. It’s an opportunity for you to invest in the comfort and value of your home, while contributing to the decrease in greenhouse emissions necessary to improve the future.
Yes, the Greener Homes grant money can be used to replace your home’s windows should your EnerGuide evaluation recommend this action and deem it a qualifying expense.
The Greener Homes Program is Canada-wide, but for provincial support, for homeowners located in Ontario, there are also PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Programs being piloted in various municipalities to help fund energy-efficiency improvements.