Saving Home Improvements Announced in Feds Budget
By: Logan Caswell
New Federal Budget includes interest-free loans worth up to $40,000 to help homeowners and landlords undertake retrofits identified through an authorized EnerGuide energy assessment.
The federal government stepped-up its clean-energy initiatives during its spring budget with the announcement of interest-free loans to help Canadians complete energy efficient home improvements.
The new funding will build on the 1-million free energy audits and up to 700,000 grants valued up to $5,000, announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
The government stressed climate action begins at home and suggested energy saving home improvements could be the key to reduce emissions. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $4.4 billion on a cash basis ($778.7 million on an accrual basis over five years, starting in 2021-22, with $414.1 million in future years), to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The interest-free loans worth up to $40,000 will help homeowners and landlords undertake retrofits identified through an authorized EnerGuide energy assessment. In combination with available grants announced in last Fall’s Economic Statement, the loans will help eligible participants make deeper, more costly retrofits that have a positive impact in reducing a home’s environmental footprint and energy bills.
Also included is a dedicated stream of funding to support low-income homeowners and rental properties serving low-income renters, including cooperatives and not-for-profit owned housing.
The program is expected to be available by summer 2021. More than 200,000 households can take advantage of this opportunity.
Key points include:
- Replacing oil furnaces or low-efficiency systems with a high efficiency furnace, air source heat pump, or geothermal heat pump.
- Better wall or basement insulation and/or wall or roof panels.
- Installing a high-efficiency water heater or on-site renewable energy like solar panels.
- Replacing drafty windows and doors.