Every year, there always seems to be more than one repair or improvement you have to do on your home, either to boost curb appeal, improve comfort, or lower your energy bills. The trouble is there is never enough money to fit it all in your budget.
If you have been stuck between building a new deck or installing a new privacy fence and investing in a more energy-efficient heating system for your primary residence, you may now be able to fit both in your budget.
The recently announced Canada Greener Homes Grant will award up to $5,000 in grant money for energy-saving upgrades on primary residences. The money will be reimbursed for qualifying energy-saving home retrofits.
What Is The Canada Green Homes Grant?
The Canada Green Homes Grant is an initiative of the federal government that aims to help Canadians make their homes more energy-efficient. By helping people retrofit their homes in ways that minimize heating, ventilation, and other energy costs, as well as switch to greener energy sources, the government hopes to make life more affordable and comfortable for up to 700,000 Canadians.
Through the Canada Green Homes Grant, the federal government is also looking to create new jobs, fight climate change, and grow domestic green supply chains.
The Prime Minister’s Office announced that the federal government will recruit and train 2,000 new energy advisors as part of the Canada Green Homes Grant. These advisors will guide, advise, and offer timely evaluations to homeowners who apply for the grant.
The new hires are expected to reflect the government’s noted commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the job market. Canadians who want to train as energy advisors can apply here.
Cheaper and Sustainable Energy for Canadian Homes
Launching the program, Prime Minister Trudeau noted that the energy-saving home upgrades the Canada Green Homes Grant is promoting are sometimes out of reach for ordinary Canadians. As a result, homeowners end up spending more money than they have to on energy bills.
Many people are also forced to rely on unsustainable sources of energy to power their homes. For example, during power outages, many homeowners have no option but to use gasoline generators that are expensive to run and release toxic gases that pollute the air we breathe. A sustainable solution that is cheaper in the long term will be to install photovoltaic solar panels.
It is estimated that Canadian homes and other buildings constitute 18 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. So this new initiative has the potential to drastically improve air quality and help the country meet its climate change goals. It should help drive the adoption of solar energy, which is an area Canada stills lags behind other developed countries.
How Does The Canada Green Homes Grant Work?
There are two ways Canadians can get reimbursed for energy-saving retrofits they make on the primary residences. First, to begin the process, you have to engage a certified energy advisor who will come in and evaluate your home’s current energy efficiency and advise on retrofits that may help you save energy or upgrade to a more sustainable source. To help you with that, you will receive up to $600 in reimbursements.
Besides the reimbursement for the expert evaluation, you can claim up to $5,000 for the actual retrofit. Note that you will only be eligible for the reimbursement after a post-retrofit evaluation by an energy advisor is completed. So in total, you can receive up to $5,600 in grant money.
To receive the grant money, you have to complete at least one of the retrofits recommended by the energy advisor. The retrofitting work will also have to be done by a licensed contractor. And unless you follow through and implement the upgrades recommended by the energy advisor, you will not be eligible for the pre-retrofit evaluation.
To access the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you have to register through this online form. Interest in the program is so high that the online form crashed the first day it was opened to the public.
What residences qualify for the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
To be eligible for the grant, the property must be your primary residence and be more than six months old from the date it was first occupied. It must also meet the EnerGuide evaluation conditions. You, of course, have to provide the documents that show that you own the home. The residences could be any of the following:
- Single or semi-detached houses.
- Mobile homes on permanent foundations,
- Permanently moored floating homes,
- Mixed-use buildings
- small, multi-use residential buildings
What Retrofits Are Eligible Under the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
To qualify for reimbursement under the green homes initiative, a retrofit must have been recommended by a certified energy advisor. Home improvements that boost climate resiliency, like those that protect against floods, wind, blizzards, and power outages will be considered for reimbursement if combined with an energy-efficient retrofit.
The following are the retrofits that qualify for Canada Greener Homes Grant:
Home retrofits that slow the rate of heat loss have the effect of optimizing energy use, which lowers overall household costs. These retrofits can earn you reimbursements up to $5,000.
Home improvements that reduce the amount of air that escapes from the house are considered the most effective retrofits for improving energy efficiency. Reduced air loss also mean improved heat retention, which lowers overall heating costs. Retrofits that improve your house’s capacity to prevent air loss can earn you up to $1,000 in Canada Greener Homes Grant money.
Windows and Doors
Installing doors and windows that improve a home’s insulation capabilities will lower heating, cooling, and lighting costs, ensuring greater energy efficiency. Expect up to $5,000 in reimbursements.
Installing modern thermostats will ensure your appliances don’t run longer than they have to. That means lower energy costs for the home. To qualify for the grant, a smart thermostat has to be combined with another retrofit. The reimbursement for this retrofit is capped at $50.
Heating accounts for 60 percent of energy costs for the average Canadian household. Switching to more energy-efficient heating, cooling, and lighting equipment will, therefore, drastically lower your energy costs.
To demonstrate the government’s commitment to a cleaner energy future, home heating retrofits that improve energy efficiency will be rewarded with reimbursements up to $5,000.
Renewable energy systems
Switching to renewable energy sources will help reduce pollution and preserve the environment for future generations. These are energy sources that replenish at a rate equal to or greater than that at which they are consumed. Qualifying retrofits, like photovoltaic solar panels and the batteries that store the energy, attract grant reimbursements up to $5,000 under the Canada Greener Homes Grant.
Get Rewarded For Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
There are multiple incentives to improving your home’s energy efficiency, including improving overall comfort and lowering energy costs. The Canada Greener Homes Grant has added another that for many homeowners and will address the pesky question on budget.
With the reimbursement from the grant, you can now fit more home improvements into the same budget, meaning you may yet be able to build that pergola you have been struggling to fund.
What energy-saving home retrofit are you planning?
Jay Fencing is an experienced, licensed contractor in Southern Ontario. We are trusted for fencing, deck building, and other home improvement projects. Contact us here to discuss your project.