The Government of Canada has announced grants of up to $5000 and other incentives for energy-efficient home retrofits or renovations.

Following the announcement of the Greener Homes initiative in the Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government of Canada has issued more information about their plan. If you’ve ever read a government document, though, you know it can be confusing and vague. We’re going to help make these documents as clear as glass.

What is the Greener Homes initiative?

Some new preliminary information on Greener Homes is available here, but in a nutshell, it’s an opportunity for homeowners to invest in upgrading their home to make it more comfortable to live in, and to reduce energy costs. If we’re going to upgrade our homes, why not make them better for the environment, too, right?! The government initiative is also meant to stimulate the economy as we try to get back to a more normal way of life.

Given that buildings account for 18% of Canada's greenhouse emissions, the initiative aims to help make existing homes more energy-efficient while creating new middle-class jobs in the energy-efficiency sector. Announced measures to hit this goal include:

  • Up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make energy efficiency retrofits to their homes;
  • Support for EnerGuide home evaluations aimed at providing expert advice to homeowners in planning their retrofits and renovations;
  • Support for recruiting and training EnerGuide energy advisors to meet the increased demand and create new jobs in communities and cities across Canada.

What will the Greener Homes initiative help pay for?

Financial incentives for improving the energy efficiency of homes under this program could help cover:

  • Envelope measures such as windows and insulation,
  • Heating and cooling system retrofits, and
  • Select renewable energy measures.

Who will be eligible for the Greener Homes initiative?

To benefit from up to $5,000 in grants forThe Greener Homes initiative, a homeowner’s primary residence must be eligible for an EnerGuide home evaluation, and can be one of:

  • Single and semi-detached houses
  • Row housing
  • Townhomes
  • All-season cottages
  • Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
  • Permanently moored floating homes
  • Small multi-unit residential buildings (3 storeys or less with a footprint of 600m2 or less)*
  • Residential portions of mixed-use buildings (except multi-unit residential buildings over 3 storeys or over 600 m2 in footprint).

How to get started?

  1. Obtain an EnerGuide energy efficiency home evaluation before the retrofit. The home evaluations are aimed at helping homeowners identify energy efficient upgrades, plan their retrofits and understand the performance of their homes following the retrofits. Find more information about the EnerGuide home assessment. You can start this step now, so find an energy advisor registered with NRCan in your region today.
  2. Document your retrofit journey. Keep your receipts! To be eligible, the retrofits must begin with an EnerGuide home evaluation, including the invoices for the evaluation and for all the retrofit work, such as window upgrades. The energy advisor could take photos before and after your retrofit work, but it may be a good idea that the homeowners do so too, as dated photos of retrofit work may be needed.
  3. Do a post-retrofit evaluation upon completion of the renovations. This evaluation assesses the performance of the home following retrofits/renovations. The post-retrofit evaluation documents the home’s energy performance before and after the renovations, completing the homeowner’s retrofit journey.

Will there be any other measures?

The Canadian government has also mentioned a low-cost loan program, integrating and building on the available home evaluations and grants. It is intended to provide simple and affordable financing to help homeowners make larger home energy retrofits. More details on the program are yet to come.

What are we doing about it?

Making homes more energy-efficient is at the core of our raison d’etre. Since 1982, Verdun Windows and Doors has been dedicated to making the best advances in fenestration (window) technology affordable to Canadian homeowners. Every single window we manufacture and install is certified Energy Star High Efficiency, while our RevoCell microcellular PVC windows lead with the highest Energy Ratings in class and account for the majority of our installations. We are also providing NRCan / Energy Star reference numbers for the windows we sell.

Need more information?

Further details on the Greener Homes initiative, including eligibility, is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. We work closely with NRCan as an industry representative, and will provide updates on any and all significant developments as details become available. So please check back on our website for updates.

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