Climate change caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has recently emerged as a serious global concern, including in Canada. But what are the sources of this GHG emission?
Most people consider automotive emissions to be the sole contributor to greenhouse gasses. But it is not the only factor to take into account. According to a study, buildings, including our homes, are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
So, to deal with climate change and GHG emissions from households, the government of Canada has introduced a new funding channel, the Canada Greener Homes Grant. This federal incentive aims to assist homeowners in making their homes more energy-efficient, environment-friendly, and cost-effective.
Would you like to know more about Canada’s Greener Homes Grant and make some energy-saving improvements to your home?
This article will let you know the ins and outs of the Greener Homes Grant and the types of home upgrades you can make with this grant. By reading this article, you may also find out if you are eligible for the funding or not and how to apply for it.
What exactly is the Greener Homes Grant in Canada?
Canada’s Greener Homes Grant is a multi-faceted program that aims to make our homes more energy-efficient by covering the expenses of home energy assessments and energy-efficient retrofits.
As Canadians, we have access to over 700,000 incentives as part of the initiative to upgrade our existing homes to energy-efficient homes (including solar panels). Each household will receive up to $5,000 as a retrofit fund.
To reap the full benefits of retrofit incentives, we need expert assistance to make our homes more energy-efficient. For this reason, homeowners may also get an additional grant for getting professional guidance through pre-retrofit and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations.
The Canadian government expects that this Greener Homes Grant will be worth $2.6 billion within the next seven years. The incentive will assist around 700,000 homeowners in lowering their energy expenses (by installing home solar panels) and keeping their homes warmer during the winter.
How does the Canada Greener Homes Grant function?
If you live in a home for more than six months, you as a homeowner will receive a rebate amount for both pre-retrofit and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations.
The EnerGuide pre-retrofit assessment will identify inefficiencies in your home and provide solutions to increase its energy efficiency. After completing the Home Energy EnerGuide evaluation, you will receive a report. The report explains which retrofit solutions are ideal for you to improve your home’s efficiency.
Then, based on the pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation, you can start retrofitting your home with at least one of the recommended retrofit options. Once you’ve completed the retrofits and upgrades according to the government’s standards and regulations, you must schedule your post-retrofit evaluation.
The EnerGuide certified solar advisor will evaluate your home and record reductions in emissions to help you figure out how much money you can get back for your retrofits and upgrades.
What is the maximum amount you can receive from the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
You will receive around $5,000 as an energy-efficient retrofit grant. You could also get an extra $600 for pre-retrofit and post-retrofit evaluations to help you assess home inefficiencies, upgrades, and plans. That is, the maximum amount of grant will be $5,600.
For your information, the initiative does not ensure that you will receive the entire amount. The type of improvements you make and the appraisal you receive after work completion will determine your funding amount.
You have to pay all the costs required for upgrades, including the material cost and hired contractor fees. The government will pay your money back after the post-retrofit evaluation.
To guarantee that more homeowners may benefit from the Canada Greener Homes Grant, the government will provide access to an interest-free loan of up to $40,000.
What are the eligibility criteria for Greener Home Retrofit Grants?
The first requirement to get this retrofit grant is that you are a homeowner and it is your primary residence. Your residence must have any of the following properties of the home to be eligible:
- Single house
- Semi-detached home
- Row house
- All-season cottage
- Permanently- moored mobile homes
- Permanently- anchored floating home
- Household portion of multipurpose used buildings
- Multi-unit small apartments with three floors or less (with a footprint of about 600m2 or less)
To prove ownership of your property, you must provide the tax bill number of your property. You must also provide documentation (such as a driver’s license, government-issued ID with your address, or a utility bill) to prove that the house is your principal residence.
Only one householder per home may apply for the incentives. But if you own buildings that accommodate many people (like owners of small, multi-unit residential buildings), you may be eligible for multiple home retrofits.
Indigenous governments and organizations like indigenous band councils, land claims organizations, housing management bodies, and indigenous service delivery organizations with formal partnerships with indigenous governments can also apply for the grant. They may be able to register for multiple home grants, including those homes that are not the owner’s primary residence property.
However, if you live in a new home (less than six months old depending on the occupancy date by the initial homeowner), you will not be eligible for this incentive.
What kind of home renovations and retrofits are available under Canada’s Greener Homes Grant?
The Canada Greener Homes Grant covers a variety of upgrades and retrofits. However, there are some conditions to get the grant. For example, you must buy all the retrofit equipment from Canada. If you purchase online, the online retailer must be Canadian.
It is also important to note that you must install mechanical and electrical systems by a licensed qualified professional, like Empower Energy Solar. It would be best if you keep all the receipts and invoices until March 31, 2028.
The following are some of the eligible retrofits you can make to your home:
1) Renewable energy: Renewable energy is the energy generated from natural processes and, they replenish at the same or faster rate than their consumption. Among all the renewable energy sources, solar energy is growing at the fastest rate.
That is why the federal government of Canada provides funding through Canada Greener Homes Grant for installing solar photovoltaic panels that convert solar energy to electricity. You can either install rooftop solar homes or ground-mounted solar homes.
To get this solar funding, you must install solar PV panels that are greater than 1 kW capacity. If you live in a single-family home, you will receive solar rebate up to $1,000 per KW. If you are the owner of a multi-unit residential building, you will receive $1000 to install solar panels.
Equipment needed for solar systems (like solar panels, inverters, etc.) must have CSA Standards certifications. Since solar PV systems require batteries as standby to power homes, you will also receive $1,000 for battery installation. If you install roof-mounted solar, you may additionally receive up to $150 as a resiliency grant to protect your roof solar from moisture.
2) Home Insulation: The Canada Greener Homes Grant program can help you increase home insulation, minimize heat loss, and perhaps lower your energy expenditures. The main goal of insulation is to improve the R-value and RSI (Résistance Système International) value of your home.
The Canadian government can reimburse up to $5,000 to improve your home insulation like Attic/Ceiling insulation, Exterior Wall insulation, Exposed floor insulation, Basement / Foundation Insulation, and Crawlspace insulation.
3) Air-sealing: You can upgrade your home and enhance energy efficiency by limiting the amount of air that leaves your home. Your Renovation Upgrade Report (RUR) will set a goal for you to increase your home’s airtightness. If you meet the RUR goal, you will receive $550 as a rebate. If you reach better than your goals, you can receive a maximum of $1000, depending on the better percentage amount.
4) Windows and Doors: The majority of heat loss occurs through windows and doors. To upgrade your windows, frames, and doors with ENERGY STAR certified models, you will receive a maximum of $250 per rough opening up to a cap of $5000.
5) Thermostats: Smart or programmable thermostats improve your comfort while saving you money on your energy bill and lowering your carbon footprint. If you add a smart or programmable/adaptive thermostat instead of a manual thermostat, you will receive up to $50.
6) Heating: During winter, an energy-efficient heating source is necessary. Canada Greener Homes Grant offers a maximum of $5000 for ground source and cold-climate heat pumps.
How can I apply for the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
If you live in Alberta (like in Grande Prairie, Peace River, High Prairie, Ft. McMurray, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary, etc.) or in British Columbia (such as in Fort Saint John, Dawson Creek, etc.), you can apply directly through Canada Greener Homes Grant website.
To apply for funding, please complete the following steps:
Step 1: Register for the Greener Homes Grant through the online portal.
You will need to provide the following information:
- Your Name
- Contact Number
- Email Address
- House Type
- Your primary residence address
- Ownership proof
- Residence proof
Step 2: Schedule your pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. An NRCan registered energy advisor will evaluate your home’s inefficiency.
While registering, you will be asked to enter your postal code, and from there, you will be able to choose a service organization in your region. You can then request an evaluation and get in touch with your energy advisor.
Step 3: Your pre-retrofit EnerGuide inspection will include advice on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency. After the pre-retrofit evaluation, you will receive an EnerGuide home rating and label, Renovation Upgrade Report, and Homeowner Information Sheet. You can start to retrofit your house depending on the report.
Step 4: Once you complete retrofitting your house, schedule a post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation to start the reimbursement process. The post-retrofit assessment will include the degree of energy efficiency of your home.
Finally, before receiving your refund cheque, you must confirm your grant total on the Greener Homes Grant site.
Note: If you already have a solar system, you must contact the program administrators to re-evaluate your eligibility. But if you don’t have your system installed yet, we recommend scheduling an energy evaluation immediately.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What does the term “retrofit” mean?
In the context of the Canada Greener Homes Grant, retrofit entails making new modifications to your home that will help the residence to become more energy-efficient.
- What exactly is EnerGuide?
EnerGuide is a label that keeps an official record of the energy performance of your home. Using this metric, the Canada Greener Homes Grant determines the amount of energy your home uses each year, which appliances consume the most energy, the energy sources you use, and the impact of energy on the environment.
- What exactly is an Energy Advisor?
Energy Advisor, or EA, is a Natural Resources Canada-registered designation. Energy Advisor is a trained energy professional who can perform energy audits on homes.
- What is the deadline for the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
Currently, there are no deadlines mentioned on the website.
- What is Canada Greener Homes Grant’s contact information?
TTY: 1 800-465-7735
- What does ‘Home Energy Evaluation’ mean?
Home Energy Evaluation is a method that determines a home’s energy efficiency and identifies opportunities for improvement to make the home more energy-efficient.
If you want to make energy-saving improvements (such as installing solar panels) to your home, the Canadian government can provide you with thousands of dollars to help you get started. Canada’s Greener Homes Grant will be accessible for the next seven years. So take your time, plan properly, make a budget, choose your ideal contractor, and raise the value of your home by improving its energy efficiency!
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