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What is the Canada Greener Homes Initiative?

The federal government's Canada Greener Homes Initiative has been designed to increase the energy efficiency of residential buildings, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the growth of a greener economy. Homeowners are eligible to receive financial incentives through this program to make energy-efficient and weather-resilient home improvements. The initiative includes a Canada Greener Homes Grant of up to $5,000 and an interest-free Canada Greener Homes Loan of up to $40,000, but both require an EnerGuide home evaluation by a NRCan approved energy advisor. Additionally, an extra amount of up to $600 can be received to help cover the cost of the energy assessment.

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Greener Homes Grant: up to $5,000 back

The Greener Homes Grant, which was announced in 2020 and launched in 2021, offers a reimbursement of up to $5,000 for eligible retrofits to make homes more energy-efficient. To qualify, homeowners must undergo an EnerGuide home assessment, with an additional reimbursement of up to $600 for the assessment. The recommended retrofits, suggested by an energy advisor, should focus on improving energy efficiency and can include upgrading windows and doors, insulating the home, installing energy-efficient heating equipment, and renewable energy solutions. Other upgrades like resiliency measures, air sealing, and programmable thermostats are also covered under the grant, although to a lesser degree.

An interest-free loan of as much as $40,000

Homeowners who participate in the Canada Greener Homes Grant, such as through the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+), have the added benefit of being eligible for an interest-free Canada Greener Homes Loan of up to $40,000. Issued by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), this loan can be repaid over a 10-year period and offers an advance payment of up to 15%. This feature makes it easier for homeowners to hire contractors who typically require a deposit.

Home improvements can be a costly endeavor, but it's crucial to do them right. By providing access to financing, homeowners can undertake more extensive projects that may offer cost savings through economies of scale. Moreover, interest-free loans become even more valuable over time when considering inflation. When this financing is supported by the government, it's effectively using your own tax dollars, making it an excellent opportunity for homeowners to make their homes more energy-efficient and resilient.

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