Home Retrofit Programs

For those who are looking to reduce their home energy use and/or switch to more carbon-friendly transportation options, there are several types of grants, rebates and other incentives available. Some of these are national in scope, while others are provincial or local.

It’s important to note that an energy audit is required for many types of retrofits.

Below, you’ll find information on several types of incentives, as well as energy advisors and how to prepare for a home energy audit.

NB: Stay tuned for info on incentives for electric vehicles.

GRANTS AND REBATES FOR HOME-BASED INITIATIVES

There are four main sources of grants and loans that will help pay to reduce your home’s need for fossil fuels.

  1. Federal Government Greener Homes Program
  2. Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate Program
  3. City of Toronto Home Energy Loan Program
  4. Income Based Programs

See below for a brief synopsis of each program. (Note: the information is correct as of November 2021 but could change in the future. Please consult the original sources to confirm that details are still current.)

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NB:

  • You can combine the Enbridge Home Efficiency and federal Green Homes programs but not for the same improvements or the same energy assessment reports.
  • The City of Toronto loan program expects you to take advantage of any other available program.
  • Each program has slightly different requirements, applicability and processes.

1. Federal Government Greener Homes Program

Introduced in 2021, this federal program provides rebates and grants for specific upgrades.
Eligibility

  • You must be a homeowner.
  • The upgrades must be related to your primary residence.
  • Includes all home types including small multi-unit buildings (three storeys or less with a footprint of 600 square metres or less)

Steps

  • Register for the program
  • Schedule a home energy assessment from a registered energy advisor
  • Complete at least one retrofit from the list of eligible work recommended by the energy evaluation report
  • Do a post-retrofit energy evaluation

Rebate

  • $600 for the energy evaluations (total, *not* $600 for each one)
  • Up to $5,000 total for eligible retrofits:
    • Insulation (up to $5,000)
    • Air sealing (up to $1,000)
    • Windows/doors (up to $5,000)
    • Smart thermostat (up to $50)
    • Heating equipment (up to $5,000)
    • Solar photovoltaic (PV) system (up to $5,000)
  • NB: A new $40,000 interest free loan program was introduced in summer 2021.
  • Registration notes

    • You have to register through your bank or set up a verified Canadian government login (called a GCkey)
    • Have your tax assessment roll number on hand to complete the application
    • Have to choose an energy evaluator (even if you check that you’ve had an evaluation done already)

    2. Enbridge Home Efficiency Rebate Program

    This program is meant for homeowners who replace their furnaces or boilers with more energy-efficient models.  Note that you cannot use this program to replace gas appliances/furnaces with ones that do not use fossil fuels.  However, you can greatly reduce the amount of gas you use. You must remain an Enbridge customer.

    Eligibility

    • You are planning to renovate or replace old equipment but haven’t yet started the work.
    • You own a detached, semi-detached, row townhouse or a mobile home with a permanent foundation
    • Your home is heated with a natural gas furnace or boiler

    Steps

    • Schedule a home energy assessment from a registered energy advisor
    • Obtain a custom report with recommended upgrades
    • Complete at least two eligible upgrades
    • Schedule a follow-up energy assessment
    • Complete a final home energy assessment to qualify for a rebate. This must take place within 120 days of your first visit
    • Receive your rebate cheque within 12 weeks

    Rebates

    • Insulation — Attic/cathedral/flat roof (up to $750}
    • Smart thermostat (up to $75)
    • Water Heater (up to $400)
    • Windows/Door/Skylight (up to $40 each)
    • Boiler or combi system (up to $100)
    • Furnace (up to $250; can apply only if you complete at least three eligible upgrades)
    • Water heater (up to $400)
    • Insulation – Basement (up to $1,250, with an additional $500 for 100% of walls insulated)
    • Insulation – Exterior wall (up to $3,000)
    • Air sealing (up to $150)
    • Additional rebates for more than two upgrades (up to $750)
    • Home energy audit ($600 toward the two audits)
    • NB: There is also a separate Enbridge instant discount program providing $75 off specified smart thermostat

    3. City of Toronto Home Energy Loan Program

    The city also provides a loan that can be combined with other energy efficiency rebates and incentives.

    Eligibility

    • Applies to energy efficiency projects that have not yet been started
    • You must own a detached, semi-detached or row house in the City of Toronto
    • All of the property owners on title must consent to participate in the program
    • Property tax and utility payments to the city must be in good standing
    • You must obtain written consent from your mortgage lender, if applicable*

    Steps

    • Complete the application form and get the mortgage holders’ consent
    • Get City approval and funding offer
    • Do a home energy assessment with an approved advisor
    • Submit your funding request including:
      • a list of the improvements you intend to undertake
      • details and cost estimates based on contractor quote(s); and
      • the estimated incentive and rebate amounts available to you from other programs
    • Sign a Property Owner agreement with the City – at this point, 30% of the loan can be made available
    • Complete the improvements and submit a completion report
      • Must include contractor’s invoices and a new EnerGuide rating label
    • Receive the rest of the loan funds
    • Repay the loan over time via your property tax bill in 11 monthly payments per year

    Loan amount and interest rates:

    • Loans up to $75,000
    • Interest rates are fixed and will not fluctuate over the term
    • The following rates and terms are valid until December 31, 2021:
    TERMSFIXED INTEREST RATE
    5 years2.05%
    10 years3.54%
    15 years4.74%
    20 years**5.26%
    ** 20-year amortization is only available for projects that include solar PV, geothermal installation, new windows and/or heat pumps.

    4. Income Based Programs

    ENBRIDGE HOME WINTERPROOFING

    Free energy upgrades for those who qualify.

    Eligibility

    • You must have an Enbridge Gas account in your name
    • Your home is heated with a natural gas furnace or boiler
    • You either have

    a) household income within these levels:

    People over the age of 18 in your homeTotal income before tax is less than
    1$36,578
    2$51,729
    3$63,354
    4$73,157
    5$81,791
    6$89,598
    7+$96,775

    b) or are on a government assistance program.

    Steps

    • Apply and ensure you qualify
    • Schedule a home visit to look at and approve the work to be done
    • Free, professional installation of upgrades
    • Follow-up visit

    Possible upgrades

    • Wall, attic or basement insulation
    • Draft proofing
    • Smart thermostat

    GREEN SAVER ENERGY AFFORDABILITY PROGRAM

    This Ontario program provides free energy efficient upgrades for those who qualify.

    Eligibility

    • Income dependent
    • You must pay your own electricity bills
    • To find out if you qualify go to the website to fill out a short form or call 1-855-591-0877 or email eap@saveonenergy.ca

    Free upgrades

    Depending on your eligibility and the existing equipment within your home, you may receive:

    • ENERGY STAR®-certified LED light bulbs
    • High-efficiency showerheads (standard and handheld)*
    • Faucet aerators (kitchen and bathroom)*
    • Drying line for clothes
    • Energy-efficient refrigerator
    • Window air conditioner
    • Smart power strip
    • Additional attic or basement insulation**
    • Weatherstripping around doors and windows**
    • Smart thermostat(s)**

    *for homes with electric hot water heating
    **for homes heated by electricity

    Return to the top of the GRANTS AND REBATES section ^ 

    ENERGY AUDITS AND ADVISORS

    In order to qualify for any grants or loans, you must start with an EnerGuide home energy audit performed by a National Resources Canada (NRCan) certified home energy advisor. This audit is a requirement for most grants and loans, and it will help you to decide what retrofits to undertake.

    More


    After contacting many of the energy advisors in the Toronto area who are approved by the federal government, we selected six who were particularly suited to evaluating the older homes found in our neighbourhood. They have agreed to have their names and contact information listed here. All are very busy, so we recommend that you contact them many weeks before you would like to have an energy assessment performed. As our project evolves, we may be removing and adding names to the list. (NB: our inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement. The list is in alphabetical order based on family name.)

    HOME ENERGY AUDIT CHECKLIST

    To get the most out of your home energy audit, it is helpful to be prepared, to know the right questions to ask, to know your budget and to have a good idea of how much you would like to invest.

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    Before the audit

    • Let the energy advisor know if there is an apartment in your home
    • Locate your Property Tax Roll Number (or take a copy of your Property Tax bill)
    • Complete all forms received from the energy advisor
    • Compile a list of goals such as saving money, improving comfort, reducing carbon emissions, going solar, upgrading equipment
    • Gather your energy (hydro and gas) bills for the prior 12 months. (Recent bills contain a 12-month history). NB: This step is helpful but not necessary
    • Have information available on age of property, size, insulation levels (if known) in walls and ceiling without attic access
    • Draw up a list of problem areas: places with drafts, moisture, areas that are too hot or too cold, specific rooms with issues
    • If you have any broken windows or doors, you must seal them for the blower test to be conducted
    • Have info ready to share on any special equipment: space heaters, medical equipment, heat pumps, electric car chargers, solar panels

    Day of audit (allow 2-4 hours depending on size of house)

    • Close all windows and doors for blower test
    • Close all dampers to fireplaces/wood stoves for blower test
    • Clean ashes out of fireplaces for blower test
    • Ensure access to basement, attic, crawlspaces, furnace, water heater and air conditioning


    What to expect during the audit

    • A discussion of items listed above, highlighting any concerns
    • The energy advisor will examine house’s interior and exterior, assess the electrical system and appliances
    • The energy advisor will conduct a blower door test to identify air leakage
    • The energy advisor will conduct a basement-to-attic assessment of insulation, heating, cooling and other energy use by looking for holes or light from outside in attic, basement, crawl spaces. The advisor will also look for dark areas on insulation for air and dust, indicating leakage

    To conclude the test, the energy advisor will provide a comprehensive customized EnerGuide report of their findings and a list of recommendations and options to best fit your budget.