Canada Greener Homes Program money is running out and people must apply today to beat the deadline said the owner of one of the business that audits homes for the federal program at a presentation in Cochrane Saturday.
The program offers up to $5,000 in rebate grants and up to $40,000 in interest free loans for certain home-energy saving upgrades.
The bad news is, anyone reading this online before or on Monday has a pretty tight deadline to apply.
The deadline to apply is Monday, Feb. 12, at 3 pm Mountain time.
“That’s when the government in Ottawa closes down,” Gino Furano of Verdatech said.
Verdatech is an energy management and consulting company that does residential energy assessments.
The abruptly-announced new deadline for the federal grants is an example of what can happen if a government program works too well.
“What they’re saying is, the money’s running out,” Furano said.
According to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has reported that the uptake of the program has exceeded forecasts, while the average grant amount per application is higher than expected.
NRCan announced the looming end of the grant portion of the program a couple of weeks ago. Since opened, the program saw 550,000 people apply. The door was left open a crack with hints from the minister that a newly-designed program may be considered in the near future, possibly aimed at lower to middle income Canadians, but both speakers at the green renos talk in Cochrane emphasized none of that was official, and was only rumour at this point.
The lack of clarity on details has something to do with an upcoming election, apparently – nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
In any event, there are still funds available for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Furano also advised that the Feb. 12 deadline for the grant portion was for registering only – there was no need to feel obligated to actually go ahead with renos after that. It would still be possible to take advantage of the grants/loans program if they submitted their actual applications before the end of February.
NRCan has also confirmed that program participants and those who apply before March 2024 will be protected.
The interest-free loans part of the Canada Greener Homes Program is not part of the Monday deadline. The Canada Greener Homes Loan and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program remain open. The oil to heat pump affordability program helps eligible homeowners with median income or less who are currently heating their homes with oil. There is no need for a home energy evaluation as part of this program, as there is for the other parts.
Furano encouraged the crowd to go to the NRCan website, which he said is very informative.
In addition to that, there is a Canada Greener Homes Loan (through CMHC), The Clean Energy Improvement Program, and CMHC’s Eco Plus program (qualifiers get a discount on mortgage insurance).
There are a variety of green upgrades that may qualify for financial assistance from the federal government.
The first thing that happens is an energy assessment. The Energuide label that results from this breaks down where energy is being lost and which areas are most important to address first.
Some typical examples of upgrades include: windows and doors can be upgraded to triple glaze, attic insulation improved to R50, solar panels installed, upgrades to furnace and hot water heaters, installation of heat pumps, and improved insulation of exterior and basement walls.
The event in Cochrane was sponsored By the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC), as part of their Living Sustainably series.