The federal government has launched a new program that offers Canadians grants of up to $5,600 to make their homes more energy-efficient.
The program, called the Canada Greener Home Grants, will pay homeowners up to $5,000 to put toward the following energy-saving retrofits:
- Better insulation (up to $5,000)
- Air sealing to improve air-tightness (up to $1,000)
- Replacing windows and doors (up to $5,000)
- Installing a smart thermostat (up to $50, but must be combined with another retrofit)
- Installing heat pumps and hot water equipment (up to $5,000)
- Installing solar panels (up to $5,000)
- Resiliency measures like batteries, foundation waterproofing and roofing membranes (up to $2,625)
The program, which came into effect May 27, also provides up to $600 to help with the cost of a home energy audit.
Homeowners can apply online or by phone for funding. The process begins with a pre-retrofit evaluation. This is conducted by an approved energy adviser who visits the applicant’s home and determines which energy-saving measures would qualify for compensation.
If the homeowner chooses to proceed, a licensed contractor would then be hired to conduct the retrofits. After an inspection of the completed work, the homeowner would be reimbursed.
Before applying, homeowners must meet certain eligibility criteria. They must prove they reside in and own the home. (Landlords who live off-site are not eligible.) As well, the home must be detached or semi-detached, a row or townhouse, an all-season cottage, a certain type of mobile home or houseboat, or a lowrise condo building that’s no more than three-storeys. New homes are not eligible.
It’s estimated that private homes and buildings contribute to about 18% of the country’s carbon emissions.
The grants are expected to help 700,000 homeowners over the next seven years lower their bills and keep their houses warmer in winter.