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Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit: Invest in Solar with Canada’s 2021 Federal Budget

2021 Federal Budget Support for Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency Retrofit

Homeowners interested in solar energy will soon have a new tool they can use to execute their low carbon dreams: up to $40,000 in interest free loans administered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This and the existing Greener Homes grant initiative (up to $5,000) administered by National Resources Canada (NRCAN) represent substantial government support for the solar industry, and an attainable path for families interested in home energy efficiency retrofit work but struggling with the upfront investment cost

In April 2021, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a federal budget which continues to prioritize climate action, expanding 2020’s $15 billion climate spending plan with an additional $17.6 billion in Budget 2021. $778.7 million per year, starting in 2021-22, will be allotted for an estimated 200,000 or more homes to borrow up to $40,000 interest free for home energy efficiency retrofits. Solar energy is not the only thing that qualifies for the loan: high efficiency furnaces, insulation, windows and doors all qualify, among many others.  So how can you get started on your low carbon goals and increase your home’s value?

EnerGuide Energy Efficiency Home Evaluation

The first step in your journey for either the Greener Homes grant or the new interest free loan (available in summer 2021) is an EnerGuide home evaluation. Once you provide access to your home for a registered Energy Advisor with an approved service provider in the Natural Resources Canada network, an Energy Advisor will inspect your home and provide you with a report you can use to be approved for one of the various programs available. 

Visit this website to contact an Energy Advisor local to your area. 

Document Your Energy Efficiency Retrofit Journey

For the Greener Homes grant, you will need to keep all invoices related to home evaluations and energy efficiency retrofit work. As part of the documentation, your Energy Advisor will also photograph your home before and after the work is completed. 

Details are still forthcoming for the Interest Free Loan program.

Post-Retrofit Evaluation

Once the energy efficiency retrofit installations have been completed, as the final portion of the Greener Homes grant, your Energy Advisor will return and evaluate your home for the results of the work done. This will complete the energy efficiency retrofit from the government’s perspective and qualify you for one of the 700,000 $5,000 grants.

Details are still forthcoming for the Interest Free Loan program.