The Canada Greener Homes Loan is a fantastic opportunity for Canadians to enhance their homes’ comfort and energy efficiency. If the retrofit work has yet to commence, you can fund approved retrofits with this interest-free loan option. It’s crucial to note that initiating retrofit work before applying for the loan will disqualify you from this opportunity.
Canada’s Greener Homes Loan program offers monetary help to homeowners seeking ways to increase their homes’ energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. This blog will help you understand what sets Canada Greener Homes Grants apart from loans, the step-by-step application procedure for the Canada Greener Homes Loan, and the eligibility criteria.
Canada Greener Homes Initiative
Canada Greener Homes Initiative provides financial help for making your home more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. You can get grants, financial support for evaluations, and loans to improve your home.
- Grants from $125 to $5,000 to help cover the costs of eligible home retrofits.
- Up to $600 as a maximum contribution toward the total expenses for your pre and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluations.
- Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, which you have 10 years to repay, to support significant home retrofits.
Improving your home’s energy efficiency has some great benefits:
- Comfort: Your home will be cozier and more comfortable.
- Affordability: You’ll save money on energy bills.
- Environmental Impact: You’ll play a part in fighting climate change and making the planet healthier. Canada aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and your efforts contribute to that goal.
Difference between the Canada Greener Homes Grant and the Canada Greener Homes Loan
- Canada Greener Homes Grant
- Canada Greener Homes Grant helps pay for the pre-retrofit evaluation of your home.
- You don’t need to pay it back.
- You can access the grant after Natural Resources Canada assesses the grant amount.
- Canada Greener Homes Loan
- Canada Greener Homes Loan covers the costs of the retrofits in your home.
- You have to pay it back, but there’s no interest. You get 10 years to make the repayment.
- The Canada Greener Homes loan funds become available once your final loan amount is determined.
In simple terms, the grant is free money for the evaluation. On the other hand, the loan is money you borrow to pay for the retrofit work, which you must repay.
Canada Greener Homes Loan
- Loan Amount: You can borrow a minimum of $5,000 and up to a maximum of $40,000.
- Repayment Term: You have 10 years to repay the loan, and the good news is it’s interest-free!
- Loan Type: This is an unsecured personal loan, but it’s subject to approval based on your credit.
- Loan Limit: The maximum loan you can get depends on the cost of the retrofits you select in your application. It’s capped based on industry standards and market norms. It might be less than the total cost, and you’d need to cover the difference.
- One Loan per Property: You can only get one loan for each eligible property, and it’s linked to the homeowner.
- Eligible Products: The Canada Greener Homes loan can only finance products and installations recommended by an energy advisor.
- Payment Process: You can get a portion of the Canada Greener Homes loan upfront to start the work in your home. Often, contractors require this down payment. The rest of the loan will be given to you after the retrofits are completed and verified through a post-retrofit evaluation.
What the loan won’t cover
- Work You’ve Already Started or Completed: If you’ve already begun or finished the retrofit work, this loan won’t apply.
- Retrofits Not Recommended by an Energy Advisor: It only covers retrofits recommended by an energy advisor.
- Retrofits Not Eligible for a Canada Greener Homes Grant: If the retrofit isn’t eligible for it, this loan won’t cover it.
- Retrofits Not Included in Your Application: The loan only applies to retrofits that are part of your official application. So, it’s only covered if it’s in your application.
Eligibility Requirements for the Canada Greener Homes Loan
General Eligibility Requirements
- Own a Canadian Residential Property: You must own a residential property in Canada, which should be your primary place of residence.
- Pre-Retrofit Evaluation: Your home should have undergone an evaluation before any retrofit work, dated April 1, 2020, or later.
- Good Credit History: You need a good credit history, which means you have yet to go through a consumer proposal and an orderly payment of debt program, bankruptcy, or a comparable financial situation.
- Financial Capacity: You may need to provide financial information to show you can repay the loan.
Eligibility for Individual Homeowners in MURB (Multi-unit Residential Building)
A multi-unit residential building(MURB) is a housing complex with separate housing units within one or multiple facilities. Examples include apartments, condos, townhouses, and cooperative housing.
- Additional MURB Criteria: Individual homeowners in low-rise MURBs must meet extra criteria outlined in the Canada Greener Homes Grant.
- Indigenous Group Applicants: Indigenous groups can apply, and they are allowed to register multiple homes for the grant. The houses don’t have to be the primary residence of the owner.
- Occupancy: The homes must be occupied by Indigenous households.
- Retrofit Selection: Each property under the loan must have at least one eligible retrofit selected.
- Single Evaluation: A single evaluation, both before and after retrofit work, must be done for the entire building, including all units and common areas. Homeowners within the MURB need to coordinate this evaluation.
- Decision-Making: Decisions about renovations in the building must be agreed upon by the person or persons authorized to make such decisions.
- Owner’s Residence: If one person owns the MURB, and the remaining units are rented, that owner must live in the building as their primary residence. In this case, the maximum grant is $5,000.
- Multiple Homeowners: If numerous homeowners are in the MURB, up to four individual homeowners can apply for grants of up to $5,000 each, based on the MURB’s multiplier table. All applications should be found on the whole-building EnerGuide evaluations.
- Living Space: At least 50% of the MURB’s total area, including the basement, must be residential.
- Year-Round Habitation: The building must be suitable for year-round habitation.
- Individual Grants: Homeowners within the low-rise MURB can apply for grants of up to $5,000 based on the EnerGuide evaluations performed for the entire building.
Eligibility for People in Northern and Off-Grid Communities
- 30% Extra Support: People in northern and off-grid communities face unique challenges regarding home retrofits, such as higher costs for equipment and labor. An additional 30% retrofit grant is provided to residents in these areas to assist with these challenges.
- Replacement of Fossil-Fuel Equipment: Homeowners in these areas are eligible to replace existing fossil-fuel-burning equipment in their homes.
- Additional Insulation Measures (Northern Communities): Specifically, homeowners in northern communities can receive extra insulation measures, including attic, ceiling, and exposed floor insulation, to improve energy efficiency and warmth in their homes.
How to Apply
Step 1: Apply for the Canada Greener Homes Grant
Before you apply for the Canada Greener Homes loan, ensure that you are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant and apply for it.
Log in to the Canada Greener Homes portal, fill in the required details, and choose a service organization that serves your area to perform the pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation.
Step 2: Pre-Retrofit EnerGuide Evaluation
The service organization will schedule an evaluation of your home with an energy advisor.
An energy advisor registered with Natural Resources Canada and representing the service organization you chose on the Canada Greener Homes portal will conduct the pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation to assess your home’s energy efficiency.
The advisor will recommend retrofits from the eligible list for the grant.
Step 3: Plan Your Retrofits and Get Contractor Quotes
Review the advisor’s recommendations and decide which retrofits work best for your budget.
Get quotes from contractors for each planned retrofit.
Plan your retrofits carefully because you can’t request a larger loan later.
Step 4: Submit Your Canada Greener Homes Loan Application
Log in to your Canada Greener Homes loan account and access the portal.
Upload required documents, including property tax statement, ID, confirmation of income and employment, and contractor quotes.
The program will calculate the maximum loan amount based on your application.
Carefully review and accept the loan agreement to activate your loan offer.
Step 5: Access Upfront Loan Funds
You can request a portion of your loan upfront to pay contractor deposits. Up to 15% of eligible retrofit costs, or 25% if you’re in the North or off-grid, can be advanced.
Step 6: Start Retrofits and Keep Records
Begin your retrofit work and keep copies of all receipts and invoices.
Step 7: Post-Retrofit EnerGuide Evaluation
After completing retrofits, request a post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation.
An energy advisor will assess the improvements and provide an updated EnerGuide label and grant estimate.
Step 8: Receive Your Canada Greener Homes Loan Amount
The energy advisor will update your final evaluation in the Canada Greener Homes portal, including the grant estimate.
Upload final invoices and receipts for the grant and to the loan portal for the loan.
The loan amount will be reviewed based on actual retrofit costs. If costs are lower, the loan amount decreases; it doesn’t increase.
The final approved Canada greener homes loan amount (minus any advance) will be deposited into your bank account within 10 days.
Step 9: Repayment Over 10 Years
You’ll receive detailed information on repaying your interest-free loan over 10 years.
Tips for Canada Greener Homes loan application
- Complete and Accurate Application: Ensure your application is complete and accurate. This will speed up the process and help you start your retrofits sooner.
- No Work Before Application: You can only begin retrofit work once you’ve submitted your Canada Greener Homes loan application. Work started before the application is ineligible.
- Wait for Approval: It’s recommended to start work once your home loan application is approved. You’ll be responsible for all costs if you begin before approval and your application is declined.
- Avoid Incomplete Information: Only apply with complete documents or complete info. Incomplete applications can cause delays.
- Include All Planned Retrofits: Your application must list all the retrofits you plan to do. You can only add retrofits later that were in your original application.
- Loan Adjustment: If you initially include retrofits but decide not to do them, they’ll be deducted from your loan before it’s finalized. Your adjusted Canada greener homes loan must still be at least $5,000 to remain eligible.
- Transparent Contractor Quotes: Ensure contractor quotes clearly show the cost of eligible energy-efficient retrofits.
- Loan Amount Calculation: Your loan amount is calculated based on the retrofits in your application and the quotes you provide. It’s capped based on industry standards and may be less than your quoted cost, so you’ll need to cover the difference.
The Canada Greener Homes Initiative offers a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to enhance their living spaces while positively impacting the environment. This program makes homes more comfortable and affordable by providing grants, Canada greener home loans, and support for energy-efficient retrofits. It plays a crucial role in Canada’s commitment to combat climate change.
Investing in energy-efficient retrofits is an intelligent choice for your home and a responsible step toward a greener, more sustainable future.
What is the $ 5,000 Canada Greener Homes Grant?
The $5,000 Canada Greener Homes Grant, started in May 2021, helps homeowners make their homes energy-efficient and lowers emissions. It covers up to $5,000 for retrofits and up to $600 for energy evaluations.
How much is the Canada Greener Homes grant?
Canada Greener Homes Grant offers up to $5,000 for eligible retrofits and up to $600 for pre- and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations. In addition to the grant, you can apply for an interest-free loan of up to $40,000 as part of the Canada Greener Homes Loan if you have an active application with the grant.
How long is the Canada Greener Homes grant available?
The Canada Greener Homes Grant is a seven-year program from May 2021 to March 2028.
Is the Canada Greener Homes grant taxable?
No, the Canada Greener Homes Grant is not taxable. You don't need to declare it as income when filing your taxes. It's a non-repayable and non-taxable grant.
How do I apply for a Canada Green Grant?
Must be a homeowner in Canada and have valid proof of ownership and identity. Register online, Get an energy evaluation, Complete your retrofits, Request your grant online, and get up to $5,000 for eligible retrofits.