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Guide to the Canada Green Housing Grant (Spring 2022)

Zero net greenhouse gas emissions: this is the goal that Canada aims to achieve by the year 2050. To achieve this, the government is encouraging people to make the necessary renovations to make their homes more environmentally friendly and therefore less energy consuming. Nevertheless, the total cost of the work can sometimes be very high. Canada’s Greening Canada’s Homes initiative was established to provide financial support to homeowners.

What is the Canadian Green Housing Initiative?

Canada’s Greener Homes Initiative is a government program designed to help homeowners who want to green their homes to help Canada achieve its goal of “zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”. It then subsidizes a portion of the costs associated with EnerGuide assessments and retrofits. It also offers an interest-free loan repayable in 10 years for major work if needed.

How much are the grants available through the Canadian Green Housing Initiative?

The grants available through the Canadian Green Housing Initiative vary from case to case:

  • Between $125 and $5,000 for home renovations;
  • Up to $600 for EnerGuide assessments.

Interest-free loans can range from $5,000 to $40,000, depending on the major work to be done.

What are the eligibility criteria for this program?

Before applying for a grant, it is advisable to first verify that the applicant, their home and the work they wish to do are eligible.

Eligible candidates

Applicants eligible for grants include:

  • Homeowner whose primary residence is the house to be renovated. In addition, you will be asked to provide proof such as a property tax bill number and government-issued identification showing your address.
  • Aboriginal governments or organizations and Aboriginal housing management organizations that formally cooperate with an Aboriginal government or organization. In this case, it is possible to submit a single grant application for a group of houses to facilitate the process. However, it must be presented by the owner of record of all units.

Eligible homes

The following are the homes eligible for the grant:

  • Townhouses;
  • Permanently moored floating homes;
  • Single and semi-detached houses;
  • Mobile homes on permanent foundation ;
  • Townhouses ;
  • Residential portion of a multi-use building;
  • Small multi-unit residential building: maximum of 3 stories with a maximum floor area of 600 m².

Eligible renovations

The renovations to be undertaken and the eligible equipment will be communicated by the EnerGuide evaluation officer prior to the work. This step is mandatory.

How do I get a grant from the Canadian Green Housing Initiative?

Here are the steps to follow to obtain a grant once eligibility has been verified.

1- Select the EnerGuide evaluation organization and apply

First, you must select the qualified organization that will perform the EnerGuide home evaluation and apply through the Canada Green Housing Grant portal. Nevertheless, the following provinces have their own programs for EnerGuide evaluation:

  • Quebec: send the request directly to Rénoclimat Québec ;
  • Nova Scotia: Apply directly to Home Energy Assessment Nova Scotia;
  • New Brunswick and West Kootenay or British Columbia: Applications will be directed to provincial agencies.

2- Schedule the EnerGuide home evaluation and apply for a loan if necessary

The next step is to have an EnerGuide evaluation of the home performed by a Natural Resources Canada certified energy advisor. Its purpose is to measure the energy efficiency of the dwelling. Then you can apply for an interest-free loan to cover the cost of eligible renovations recommended by the agent. To do this, you will need to submit at least an estimate of the expenses to be expected. Note, however, that you will not receive the loan proceeds until the work is completed and the EnerGuide evaluation is completed. Also, you are not eligible for the loan if you apply after the work has been started or completed.

3- Start the renovation work

After the EnerGuide evaluation, the agent will give you a list of recommended renovations for your home. Study it and select the ones that fit your project and your budget, then start the work.

4- Conduct an EnerGuide evaluation

When the work is complete, schedule an EnerGuide evaluation so that the certified agent can see how your home’s energy performance has improved. You will also need to provide a few documents that you can send by mail or online.

5- Submit the grant application

Finally, you will receive an email that prompts you to confirm the final amount of your grant. Once this is done, all you have to do is wait for the check to be mailed to you within 30 to 40 days.

More information about the Canadian Green Housing Initiative

Here is some additional important information to know about this program.

  • The EnerGuide assessment is a mandatory step in order to receive the grant.
  • You must complete at least one of the eligible renovations recommended by the energy advisor to be eligible for financial assistance.
  • All materials and equipment must be on NRCan’s list of eligible products and purchased in Canada, even if you choose an online distributor. Their installation must also be carried out by a certified professional.
  • A home that is less than 6 months old is considered new and is not eligible for the grant. However, the owner may apply when the application is more than 6 months old.
  • In most cases, EnerGuide agents recommend the installation of a heat pump.
  • It is strongly recommended that you retain all documents related to the Initiative until 2028.

Evaluation of the progress of the Canadian Green Housing Initiative in its first year

The Canadian Greener Homes Initiative was officially launched in May 2021. The total value of the program, which is expected to last 7 years, is $2.6 billion. This is expected to provide approximately 700,000 grants. Below are the figures concerning the progress of the project during the first year. Please note that all information is as of June 08, 2022.

  • 171,495 applicants registered for the program through the national portal and over 50,000 applications were received through partner programs.
  • 10,291 homeowners received the grants, which totaled approximately $38.6 million.
  • Grant payments were made within 40 days of receipt of required documentation, including final invoices, more than 90% of the time.
  • Nearly 200 homeowners in rural and remote areas have already been connected with certified energy advisors.
  • 446 energy advisors were trained, bringing the total number of certified professionals across Canada to 1400. In fact, more than a dozen agreements have been signed with governments and organizations in Canada to facilitate the recruitment and training of new energy advisors.
  • More than 3,200 homeowners have received grants to install a heat pump, the solution recommended by EnerGuide evaluators.

Finally, greener home loans are available as of June 17, 2022.

Steps taken to improve the program

While the data are satisfactory, the government continues to take steps to improve the program, including speeding up the payment of grants.

  • It is now possible to change service organizations and remove duplicate accounts through the national online portal with a new feature.
  • Applicants can now determine their eligibility for the program prior to applying through a screening tool.
  • Each status window is now accompanied by additional information to help applicants understand the process.

Conclusion

In addition to the undeniable positive environmental impacts, a greener home reduces your electricity bill by using less energy. Therefore, it is in your best interest to take the necessary steps to make your home energy efficient. In addition, grants or a 10-year interest-free loan may be available to cover a portion of your retrofit expenses and EnerGuide assessments through the Greening Canada’s Homes Initiative. The process of getting the right financial support for your project is now simpler following the new features added to the portal, with the aim of speeding up the payment of grants. Over 10,200 homeowners have already been paid in full.