Blog/Uncategorized/Understanding the Canada Greener Homes Grant

Understanding the Canada Greener Homes Grant

Jun 30, 2021
6 min read
  • Canada Greener Homes Grant

Home renovations made simple

Get a Contractor

Canadian households consumed 24.3 per cent of Canada’s total energy use in 2018 and contributed to around 19.1 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. To promote more sustainable homes, the Canadian government established 700,000 Greener Homes Grants. The grants will be awarded for green home renovations up to $5,000, along with a maximum $600 rebate for pre-and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations. The major goal of the program is making retrofits more affordable for Canadians, which means this new federal grant could be your path to an eco-friendly home. 

What is the Greener Homes Grant?

Natural Resources Canada, or NRCan for short, created the Greener Homes Grants to fight climate change, grow domestic green supply chains, and create new jobs for energy advisors. Homeowners can receive up to $5,600 in rebates for energy evaluations and sustainable home renovations. The focus isn’t only on reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions—it’s also about giving the economy a boost. The ultimate goal of the Greener Homes Grant is to work towards reducing your home’s energy use while encouraging sustainable practices. 

What is EnerGuide? 

You may wonder who EnerGuide is and why they have a say in government energy-saving grants. EnerGuide is the official mark of the Government of Canada for rating and labeling the energy performance of consumer items. Energy advisors registered with Natural Resources Canada can carry out a full home assessment to provide you with an EnerGuide rating and an energy efficiency report. 

How can I apply for the Greener Homes Grant?

You can apply for a Greener Homes Grant even if your eco-home renovations are already underway. The grants apply retroactively for work done after December 1, 2020. For a row house, townhouse, detached home, or even a permanently moored houseboat, the process is the same; however, multi-unit residential homes may or may not be eligible. 

Residents of Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick

If your primary residence is in Quebec or Nova Scotia, you must apply for your Greener Homes Grant through your provincial agency: Rénoclimat or Efficiency Nova Scotia. Residents of New Brunswick can apply straight through the Greener Homes program, but may be eligible for additional benefits when going through the New Brunswick Energy Efficiency Program.

All other Canadian residents 

For residents of all other provinces and territories, you can start your application here. Be sure to check eligibility requirements for the Greener Homes Grant before you begin. 

Home eligibility requirements 

To be eligible for a Greener Homes Grant, your home must be at least six months old. Only one homeowner can apply per residence. You will need your property tax number and proof that your home is your primary residence, such as a government-issued ID or a utility bill. 

Only Indigenous or Indigenous-affiliated governments and organizations can submit applications for multiple homes, which must be owned by the applicant and occupied by Indigenous households. 

As discussed above, a small multi-unit residential building has different requirements for eligibility. If your building is over three storeys in height or has a footprint higher than 600 square metres, it will not be eligible. 

A single EnerGuide evaluation of the entire building must take place before they award any grants. If the building is owned by one person only, the maximum reimbursement is $5,600; if cooperative ownership is in place, the most all homeowners can receive in total is $20,000. 

Project eligibility requirements

A list of eligible retrofits on the Natural Resources Canada site includes everything from more effective home insulation to installing a renewable energy system. Even foundation waterproofing or replacing your windows and doors can save energy and help the planet. Booking an EnerGuide evaluation will help you hone in on the most important improvements to make in your home.

How does this benefit me?

Updating your home to be more energy efficient saves you money and help the planet. The retrofits listed below are just a few of the ways you can improve your home under the Greener Homes Grant:

Seal air leaks

Heating and cooling systems, as well as your clothes dryer and kitchen range hood, work harder and wear out faster when your home doesn’t have a tight seal. Taking care of cracks in your siding, shoring up your ductwork, and improving the seal on your windows and doors are simple pathways to a more sustainable home

Improve HVAC systems

By increasing the energy efficiency of your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner, you can reduce carbon emissions and receive a slimmer electricity bill each month. You’ll be surprised at how much extra electricity a failing air conditioner eats up! 

Install solar panels 

Even if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you can still reduce your electricity bill by supplementing with solar power. Ask your energy advisor about the optimal location for solar panel installation on your property.  

Are there other details I should know?

A thorough understanding of eligibility requirements and provincial variations in the process is essential for a successful Greener Homes Grant application. Read through the literature and have your documents ready before you apply. In addition, it’s important to understand when, how, and how much money you may receive, as well as possible scams to watch out for.  

You won’t get the money up front

Canada’s Greener Homes Grants are awarded for completed retrofits and home evaluations. If you receive a federal grant, you will pay for your renovation yourself and get reimbursed later

Not all grant recipients will receive the full amount

The maximum amount a homeowner can receive is $5,600. If the total price of your retrofits is at least $5,000 and your EnerGuide evaluation is $600, you will receive the largest possible grant available. Be sure to keep all receipts and invoices from your project, as well as documents from your pre- and -post retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. Having your paperwork in order may increase the likelihood of receiving a full reimbursement.

Be aware of energy scams 

If someone shows up at your door talking about a government energy savings rebate program, and you haven’t booked an EnerGuide appointment, they may be running an energy scam. Don’t let people into your home, provide them with your personal information, or sign anything they give you. You can also report uninvited door-to-door salespeople claiming to be EnerGuide advisors or Energy Star™ representatives to Natural Resources Canada by emailing energystar@canada.ca

Should you apply now for a Greener Homes Grant?

If you’re warming to the idea of a $5,600 grant for energy evaluations and efficiency-driven retrofits, a Greener Homes Grant may be the right choice for you. 

However, keep in mind, this program will be in place for the next seven years, so you don’t have to apply right away. Consider your needs and go over your desired improvements carefully before submitting your project proposal for the grant. 

While EnerGuide energy advisors will point out ways to make your home more energy efficient, local contractors can provide the most accurate cost estimate for your desired retrofits. 

Submit your project to Smart Reno to find vetted and qualified contractors for your green home renovation.   

 

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

Calculate the cost of your home renovation project with our cost estimator

Get an Estimate
Things our lawyers want you to know
Go to Top