What’s the Federal Greener Homes Incentive?

The Federal Greener Homes Initiative is a government incentive created to help reduce carbon emissions made by homes with an investment of $2.6 billion over seven years. Through this, homeowners can qualify for up to $5600 in grants to make their homes more energy-efficient. By making your home more energy-efficient you can effortlessly save money and live more comfortably.

In this article, we’ll share why thousands of Canadians have made the switch to greener homes and how you can get started on reducing your energy bills.

How Does The Federal Greener Homes Incentive Work?

Did you know that your home accounts for 18% of emissions in Canada? Canadians use 5 times more energy than the world average and are large contributors to carbon emissions.

The Canada Greener Homes incentive is a win-win for anyone who wants to help fight climate change and upgrade their home. Through this initiative, the government wants to help you make your home a greener place to live.

Through offering incentives, the government plans to make greener homes all in an effort to bring carbon emissions down to Net-Zero by 2050.

What’s Included In The Greener Homes Incentive?

By creating greener homes around the country, Canadians are being incentivized with:

  • Up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make energy-efficient retrofits to their homes, such as better insulation
  • EnerGuide evaluations (worth up to $600) and expert advice to homeowners so they can begin to plan their retrofits
  • Recruitment and training of EnerGuide energy advisors to meet the increased demand.

Why Should I Consider Making My Home Greener?

Since your home is one of your most valuable assets, it is important to invest wisely. Greener homes benefit from long-term energy savings, not only by using less energy but by ensuring the home needs less maintenance.

By making your home greener; you’ll effortlessly be building value with the upgrades. Solar panels for example could potentially add 3-4% more value to your home instantly while saving you money.

How Do Greener Homes Benefit The Economy?

Aside from fighting climate change, the Canada Greener Homes Grant has created hundreds of new jobs for energy advisors and has allowed domestic green supply chains to thrive. Up to $10 million will be provided by the federal government to recruit, train, and mentor 2,000 people to conduct energy audits.

By creating a cleaner, more sustainable Canada, future generations will be able to thrive and help build upon the foundation made by generations today.

Am I Eligible For The Greener Homes Grant?

Registration is limited to one homeowner per household. You will need to have documents proving that your residence is your “primary residence” with you, such as a government-issued ID or a utility bill. Landlords who live off-site will not be eligible.

Local Indigenous governments and housing management agencies that partner with Indigenous organizations are also eligible for the program, but they may register more than one home.

Is My Home Eligible For The Greener Homes Grant?

According to Global News, eligible property types for the program include:

  • Single and semi-detached houses
  • Row housing and townhomes
  • All-season cottages
  • Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
  • Permanently-moored floating homes
  • Residential portions of mixed-use buildings
  • Small multi-unit residential buildings, which must be three stories or less and with a footprint no bigger than 600 m2.

New homes and highrise condos are not eligible.

How Can I Make My Home greener?

As per Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the federal government branch in charge of running the program, the following upgrades are eligible for grant funding:

  • Insulation (up to $5,000)
  • Sealing to improve airtightness (up to $1,000)
  • Replacement of windows and doors (up to $5,000)
  • Installation of heat pumps and hot water systems (up to $5,000)
  • Installation of solar panels (up to $5,000)
  • Measures like battery backup, waterproofing foundations, and roofing membranes (up to $2,625)
  • The installation of a smart thermostat (up to $50, but it must be combined with another retrofit)

According to NRCAN, materials and equipment must be purchased in Canada or from an online Canadian distributor.

How Can I Start Applying?

  1. You can apply at the government of Canada’s website under “NRCan- Greener Homes’. From there you will then be asked to log in to your GCKey or Sign-in Partner account before you can apply.
  2. Book your pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. Your EnerGuide will help you determine which area of your home will benefit the most from greener upgrades. It’s important to note you will be paying for this evaluation upfront.
  3. Start your upgrades and keep track of records for a seamless rebate.

How Long Could This Process Take?

Due to the high number of Canadians looking to make their homes cleaner, there has been a huge delay in the availability of EnerGuides available to audit homes. As mentioned, this is the required first step in the Greener Homes Initiative.

Currently, there is a waitlist of 2-3 months to get started. Because there are only 700,000 grants available- if you are looking to make your home greener, it’s best to get started sooner rather than later.

What Are Some Drawbacks To The Greener Homes Grant?

A drawback that has some homeowners reconsidering is that you will not receive a federal grant for the upgrades upfront. This means at the start you will have to pay for all the upgrades out of pocket.

Once the upgrades are approved and an audit is conducted, only then will you be able to receive a grant which can take about a month to process. It’s also important to note that not all upgrades qualify for the full grant of $5,600 and before applying to the program you should conduct thorough research and plan ahead.

How Much Will It Cost To Make My Home Greener?

Being that you do have to pay out of your pocket initially, the cost has become a top question amongst homeowners. On average the cost of upgrading a home depends on what work you’re doing and what season you’re doing it in as this can cause delays.

Upgrading windows can cost on average $800 to $4000 while on the other hand installing solar panels can cost you approximately $12,000 to $25,000, fully installed. It’s best to familiarize yourself with these prices and create a budget with your household.

How Much Money Will I Be Saving By Making My Home Greener?

This again depends on the types of upgrades you are doing. Windows can save you about $126 to $465 a year, while solar panels can save you up to $1,200 per year.

In addition, for every $10,000 for new windows; the asking price for a house can be bumped up by $8,500 higher on average. Solar studies show that property values can be bumped up as much as $6,000 for every 1 kW installed.

How Can I Get The Most Out Of The Greener Homes Grant?

Here are some valuable tips to help you get the most out of your grant:

  • Plan ahead: know which renovations are going to save you the most energy, and which ones are minor
  • Know what you’re working with: become familiar with the specific rebates on all your chosen updates (listed above) to ensure you can get the most bang for your buck
  • Take advantage of other programs offered municipally: programs such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) or Edmonton’s Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator (HERA) program

Summary

If you are looking to make your home greener, then the Greener Homes Grant may just be the push you need. However, homeowners need to understand that this is not free money, rather reimbursement for the upgrades you’ve done to make your home greener. While this reimbursement may not cover the full amount of upgrades done- these upgrades themselves will provide you savings for years to come.

For homeowners looking to invest in their home and make it resilient for years to come, this is the perfect way to do so. Investing in your home will not only allow you to live comfortably but will bump up the property value on your home as well.

There’s never a bad time to invest in your home but when looking into the Green Homes Grant, it’s important to take a look at your finances and understand what’s needed. For homeowners that do not have the money upfront or the eligibility- there are still tons of ways to save money on making your home efficient such as smart thermostats and upgraded LED light bulbs.