What is the Greener Homes Grant?
The Greener Homes Grant was created by the Government of Canada to help homeowners subsidize energy-efficient retrofits such as switching to modern, high-efficiency HVAC systems and improving insulation. Buildings account for 18% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is a significant portion, and this initiative aims to reduce this number in an effort to be more environmentally conscious.
This is a great opportunity for Canadian homeowners as modern HVAC equipment is not only better for the environment, but in many cases can keep your family more comfortable than your old system. Additionally, switching to high-efficiency HVAC systems can save you money on monthly operating costs, especially since the Canadian Federal Carbon Tax will increase annually by $15 per ton between 2023 and 2030 – more than tripling the current cost! If you heat your home using natural gas, propane or oil you’ll see this charge showing up on your bills.
Who runs the Greener Homes Grant?
The Greener Homes Grant is run by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), a branch of the Canadian government. You can read all about the grant on their website here. However, since January 1st, 2023 Enbridge will administer the program and is in charge of a new, easier and faster application portal (check it out). You DO NOT need to be a customer of Enbridge in order to use this portal. Enbridge will also let you know if you are eligible for any other grants in your area when you apply.
You must always be wary of high-pressure sales tactics that claim to have backing from legitimate grant programs. That’s why it’s so important to properly vet and choose a trustworthy contractor. If you are unsure of where to start check out “Picking the right contractor and saving money” and “How to recognize energy scams” from NRCan.
How much can I get from the Greener Homes Grant?
The amount you are eligible for will depend on what retrofits you choose to do. For example, installing a heat pump is a popular retrofit choice and is eligible for up to $6,500, plus EnerGuide evaluations worth up to $600, totalling a payout of $7,100. Talking to a Comfort Advisor is the easiest way to see what equipment best suits your home and understand how much of the grant you may be eligible for.
How do I apply for the Greener Homes Grant?
We know that grant applications can be tedious and overwhelming – so leave it to the pros! Reach out to the professionals at Walker ClimateCare. We can coordinate your initial appointment with an approved auditing firm we partner with so just one appointment will get everything in motion.
1. Checking your eligibility
Our professionals are able to identify which HVAC upgrades would best suit your home’s needs and provide you with all the relevant information you will need to make an informed purchase decision.
2. Pre-Retrofit Evaluation
Next, we will arrange for an energy auditor will to come to your home to perform an EnerGuide evaluation. This is an essential step, as they will measure the energy efficiency of your home, identify which retrofits would be beneficial and calculate how much grant money you will be entitled to for each retrofit. You will then be able to decide which retrofits you would like to complete and apply for the grant through the Enbridge portal with help from your energy advisor.
3. Paying your Contractor
The grant money will not be delivered to you until after all the retrofits are completed, however, in the meantime, you will need to pay your contractor(s) for their work. Don’t worry, there are a couple of options available to you to help keep afloat until the grant money arrives:
One of the fastest and easiest options is financing through your contractor. Many contractors work with a 3rd party finance firm or bank to offer you flexibility in paying for large projects and renovations. These can include options for affordable monthly payments, or a deferral period without interest if you’re waiting for grant money to arrive. Of course, Walker ClimateCare offers lots of flexible financing arrangements to help you – read more about them here.
Natural Resources Canada has also created a loan which may be available to those participating in the Greener Homes Initiative for this very reason. These loans range from $5,000 – $40,000, are interest-free loans and have a repayment term of 10 years. The loan is completely separate from your Greener Homes Grant submission and must be applied to separately – learn more.
4. Retrofitting your Home
Our highly trained technicians will complete the approved retrofits in your home on whatever timeline works best for you and your family. If your new HVAC equipment is replacing equipment that’s stopped working, a contractor who can install quickly can be very helpful, or sometimes necessary. Be sure to talk to your contractor about how quickly they can get the work done if this is important to you!
5. Post-Retrofit Evaluation
After the work has been done, an EnerGuide evaluation will be carried out to ensure all the retrofits that were committed to were completed. This post-retrofit evaluation is necessary in order to get the grant approved, so working with an auditor who moves quickly will help get the grant money to you faster.
6. Receiving your Grant
Finally, you will request your grant through the Enbridge portal which finalizes the grant application process. With an accredited auditor helping you, you can be confident the application will be approved, and a cheque from NRCan and/or Enbridge will be en route to you!
Don’t do it alone – call on Walker Climate Care and retrofit your home with the knowledge to get it done right!