Did you know it’s possible to go green and save green at the same time?
From installing solar panels to retrofitting your furnace, there are plenty of ways to make your home energy efficient. Unfortunately, the upfront costs of many green home renovations can be quite prohibitive.
That’s why some cities across Canada offer low-interest loans and other financial incentives for homeowners who want energy-saving upgrades.
Reasons to Apply to Your Local Green Home Energy Program
Want to do something that’s good for the environment and your wallet? If you’ve ever thought about making your home more environmentally friendly but the cost is holding you back, then one of these programs might be just what you’re looking for.
Depending on where you live, your local home energy loan or audit program might allow you to:
- Save on costs for environmentally-friendly home upgrades.
- Receive a low-interest loan that can be paid back over time.
- Make changes to your home that reduce energy consumption and your hydro bill.
- Do your part to combat climate change by cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions.
Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
The City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro offer a financing option called HELP to assist homeowners who want to make their living space more energy and water efficient. The program provides low interest loans to Toronto homeowners, so more people can afford to make environmentally-friendly upgrades to their home.
How Does It Work?
The program gives eligible homeowners the funds they need to bring their green renovations to life. Homeowners can repay the loan in installments added to their property tax bill. Not only does HELP allow homeowners to save on interest, but it also incentivizes home upgrades designed to reduce energy consumption and hydro bills.
- Participating homeowners reduce their energy use by an average of 25%.
- Avoid the upfront costs of energy-saving home improvements. HELP provides loans of up to $75,000 for property owners.
- Reduce your total renovation cost. For instance, you can get up to $650 from Toronto Hydro for replacing your furnace or AC unit with a more efficient model.
- Low interest rates and longer repayment terms, so you can pay it back as part of your property tax over time without feeling guilty.
- Financing is linked to the house, not to you as the owner. This means if you decide to sell your property before the loan is fully paid back, it gets passed on to the new owner.
How to Apply
If you’re a Toronto homeowner and want to learn more, contact the HELP team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-392-1826.
Vancouver’s Home Renovation Rebate Program
The City of Vancouver is partnering with BC Hydro and FortisBC to offer homeowners rebates to offset the expenses of renovation costs. The program is only available until the end of 2017, so it provides a bit of a push for those who have been procrastinating on energy-saving renovations and money-saving upgrades.
How Does It Work?
Eligible homeowners can receive thousands in renovation rebates. The Home Renovation Rebate Program also provides personalized energy coaching to ensure you make the best choices for your home. You can also access to a hotline with energy experts who are ready to help find reliable contractors, answer questions about program eligibility, and discuss technical concerns.
The offer is only available to eligible homeowners until December 31, 2017 – so if you’re considering applying, do it soon!
The program offers a range of rebates for home renovations, including:
- Up to $1200 for insulation upgrades
- Up to $1000 for natural gas hot water heaters
- Up to $500 for draft proofing
- $800 for an air source heat pump
- $300 for EnerChoice fireplaces
- $150 rebate for energy coaching home evaluation
Plus, participants who install three or more eligible upgrades get an extra $1250 bonus rebate.
How to Apply
If you own a residential property in Vancouver or one of the program’s other municipal partners, you can register online here.
Alberta’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program
There are a few different solar and energy efficiency incentives offered by the Government of Alberta and Energy Efficiency Alberta. The goal is to encourage more Albertans to upgrade their homes with environmentally-friendly technology that cuts emissions without sacrificing quality of living.
How it Works
Albertans can apply for a range of home improvement and solar rebates through the Residential Energy Efficiency Program. Additionally, the Residential No-Charge Energy Savings Program gives you a chance to have energy-efficient appliances and technology installed for free. This can include light bulbs, showerheads, faucets, power bars, and smart thermostats.
The Residential Energy Efficiency Program provides eligible homeowners with up to:
- $100 in rebates for more efficient refrigerators, washing machines, and smart thermostats
- $300 for home insulation upgrades
- $1500 for window upgrades
- $1000 for tankless hot water heaters
This program also provides a no-charge assessment of the home to determine what energy efficiency upgrades should be done.
How to Apply
Cost Is No Excuse to Avoid Going Green!
These home energy incentives are available to encourage Canadians just like you to make smart upgrades to their homes, so why not take advantage of your local program? There’s really no excuse to put off going green any longer – especially if you’re already looking for an excuse to renovate!
Featured image courtesy of ErieSense