By David Houle-Tymeczko August 21, 2021
Energy, whether electrical or from burning natural gas, is an integral part of our society. Everyone has to purchase energy products to run appliances and heat their homes, especially in Canadian winters.
However, energy inefficiencies in your home can cause you to buy more energy than you would otherwise need.
If you’re heating your home with natural gas, but the heated air just leaks outside, then you have to heat the air all over again and consequently pay more for gas.
Seniors are especially vulnerable to energy inefficiencies, since so many of them are living in lower-income situations.
Fortunately, the Government of Canada has created a program with the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making homes more affordable to maintain.
This program is the Canada Greener Homes Grant (CGHG).
The CGHG provides homeowners with a grant of up to $5,000 to reimburse them for making energy efficient retrofits to their homes.
The initiative also provides EnerGuide evaluations, worth up to $600, and expert advice to help you plan your retrofits.
You qualify for the CGHG as an eligible homeowner if your residence falls into one of the following categories:
- Single and semi-detached houses
- Row housing
- All-season cottages
- Mobile homes on a permanent foundation
- Permanently-moored floating homes
- Mixed use buildings (residential portion only)
- Small multi-unit residential building (three storeys or less with a footprint of 600 m2 or less).
Homes that are six months old or less, based on the date of occupancy by the first homeowner, are not eligible for this program.
The program follows four steps: pre-retrofit evaluation, planning and completing your home retrofits, post-retrofit evaluation, and getting reimbursement.
Register or login to the CGHG program by logging in to your Sign in Partner account or your GCKey. You’ll be asked to provide the following information to register:
- Phone number
- Type of house
- Address of your primary residence
- Proof of ownership with your property tax bill number
- Proof of residence through either a drivers license or government-issued ID (with address), or utility bill.
When you register, you’ll need to search for a valid service organization in your area using your postal code. Once you choose your organization and request an evaluation, you’ll be contacted by an energy advisor to set up your pre-retrofit evaluation appointment.
You won’t get reimbursed for the pre-retrofit evaluation unless you go through the full CGHG process.
After the evaluation is completed, the energy advisor will give you an EnerGuide home rating and a label, and a Renovation Upgrade Report and Homeowner Information Sheet with recommendations for improving your home’s energy performance.
The next step is to plan your retrofits.
Only retrofits that are recommended by the energy advisor after the pre-retrofit evaluation are eligible for reimbursement.
However, some recommended retrofits may not be eligible for reimbursement. For the list of potentially eligible retrofits, visit the government’s website.
The Government of Canada also has a very comprehensive list of considerations and tips when it comes to planning and completing your retrofits. All products have to be purchased in Canada to qualify for reimbursement.
Following the completion of your retrofits, you’ll have to sign in to the online portal (using the account you had to make at the beginning) to request your post-retrofit evaluation.
The post-retrofit evaluation shows how much energy has been saved, how much greenhouse gas emissions are reduced because of the retrofits, and how much your energy advisor recommends you receive for reimbursement.
The evaluation also includes your new EnerGuide rating and label, and follow-up information indicating improvements to your home energy efficiency and your EnerGuide rating.
Your energy advisor has up to 30 days after the post-retrofit evaluation to submit electronic and signed paper documents to Natural Resources Canada.
You’ll have to keep copies of all your documents related to the program until March 31, 2028.
For the final step in the process, you’ll have to confirm your grant total on the portal. You’ll be prompted to do so once the program officers have completed a review of your file and recommended grant amount.
If you disagree with the amount and explanation, you’ll have to provide your rationale so that your application can be reassessed.
If you feel that you could benefit from one or more of the potentially eligible retrofits listed on the CGHG website, the Government of Canada would be delighted to help you complete them as reducing greenhouse gas emissions is part of a commitment they have for 2030.
Take advantage of the Greener Homes program while you can, as it will only be providing up to 700,000 of these grants!
CLICK HERE to go the Government of Canada’s website about the CGHG to find more information on it.