Canadian Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Homes Skip to content

Canadian Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Homes

an energy efficient roof that is able to receive canadian tax credits

Did you know that you can earn tax credits from the government with an energy-efficient home? 

A new green program will provide homeowners up to $5,600 to help complete deep home retrofits and help make green initiatives more accessible to homeowners. 

Over the next several years, the government aims to invest over $2 billion through the Canada Greener Homes Grant and help over 700,000 homeowners make environmentally friendly retrofits to their homes.

In addition to this initiative, the government has pledged $4.4 billion over 5 years, starting in 2021-2022 to help up to 200,000 homeowners complete deep home retrofits through interest-free loans of up to $40,000. 

We spoke to government representatives from NRCan to build this article for homeowners looking to get the most out of their homes. If you’re looking to renovate your house, it may now be a perfect time to do so.

Federal Tax Credits for Roofs in Canada

The Canada Greener Homes Grant allows homeowners the opportunity to receive financial support from the government to make their homes energy-efficient. Eligible homeowners in Canada can choose from a variety of options, but this grant will cap out at $5,600 per home, or $40,000 for deep retrofits in 2021 and 2022.

Criteria

All homeowners in Canada can participate in this initiative. Only one homeowner per home can register, and there are eligibility requirements that must be met. Applicants are required to…

  • Provide proof of ownership with your property tax bill number (this number can be found on your municipal property documents.
  • Demonstrate the property is your primary residence through either a driver’s license or government-issued ID (with address), or utility bill.

Tax Credits in Alberta

In addition to the federal grants, Canadian homeowners can also apply for a number of provincial grants regarding energy-efficient homes. Depending on where you live, you could be eligible for additional tax credits or grants in your area. A list of programs in each province has been provided below:

Edmonton

Building Energy Benchmarking Program

This pilot program aims to increase energy efficiency by subsidizing green initiatives for building owners. Participants of the program will receive technical support, customized benchmarking reports, education workshops for tenants, and access to additional financial incentives of up to $1,500 per building to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offset energy audit costs.

Lethbridge

SunRidge BuiltGreen Homeowner Rebate

This program promotes green practices to reduce residential environmental impact. Built GreenTM aims to create sustainable communities by offering homebuyers financial incentives to maximize energy-efficient practices at home.

Medicine Hat

ENERGY STAR® Air Conditioner Incentive Program

The Air Conditioner Incentive Program offers rebates to homeowners looking to install energy-efficient air conditioners.

EnerGuide® Ratings for New Homes Incentive Program

This program provides financial compensation for the development of energy-efficient homes. The amount of the awarded rebate depends on the level of energy savings the home generates and requires an energy advisor to review and evaluate the new home.

Scratch & Win Program

Residential utility customers can earn rebates by installing smaller energy-efficient appliances and renewable energy items into their homes.

Solar Electric Incentive Program

If you’re thinking of installing a solar PV system into your home, you could earn a tax rebate from your local government.

Municipal Climate Change Action Centre

Alberta Municipal Solar Program

Alberta’s Municipal Solar Program offers up to $1.5 million in funding to various municipalities that install solar PV systems into facilities or land that reduce energy costs.

Clean Energy Improvement Program

You can develop property assessed clean energy and receive both support and financial incentives while doing so for either commercial or residential properties.

Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program

There is $750,000 in funding available to municipalities that purchase a variety of electric vehicles and related products.

Municipal Energy Manager Program

​​This program provides up to $160,000 in funding to subsidize 80% of a dedicated Municipal Energy Managers’ salary.

Recreation Energy Conservation Program

Municipally-owned recreational facilities can earn a portion of the $750,000 in funding by reducing energy use and GHG emissions.

Solar for Schools Program

This program provides up to $3 million in funding for schools across Alberta that wish to install solar PV systems in their facilities.

Tax Credits in B.C.

B.C. has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Home Renovation Rebate

This program partners with BC Hydro Power Smart and FortisBC to offer homeowners a variety of energy-saving incentives. Rebates are provided for natural gas and electric energy-efficient options, including insulation, ventilation, and more.

Non-profit and Aboriginal Housing Upgrades

This program provides free assistance to non-profit housing providers and aboriginal communities to install energy-efficient products into homes to reduce energy costs and save tenants money.

Power Smart for Low-Income Households - Energy Conservation Assistance Program

Low-income residential account holders can qualify for free personalized home energy evaluation, energy-saving product installation, and personalized energy-saving advice.

Tax Credits in Manitoba

Manitoba has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Income Qualified Program

Qualifying households can earn free and subsidized energy-efficient upgrades to the home.

Home Insulation Rebate

This program offers rebates on qualifying home insulation upgrades to required levels.

Metis Energy Efficiency Offers

In partnership with the Manitoba Métis Federation, this program offers free and subsidized energy-efficient upgrades for qualifying homes.

Tax Credits in Ontario

Ontario has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Toronto Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)

This program offers low-interest financing options for residents to improve their home's energy efficiency and save money.

A Home Efficiency Rebate from Enbridge Gas

This program provides homeowners with up to $5,000 in funding towards energy-efficient home renovations.

SAVE ON ENERGY

This program offers qualified Ontario homeowners ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through assessments and personalized advice.

Tax Credits in Quebec

Quebec has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Chauffez vert

Financial assistance is available under this program for the replacement of fossil-fueled systems with energy-efficient systems.

Rénoclimat

This energy renovation program for qualifying homeowners includes an energy audit conducted both before and after a retrofit.

Tax Credits in P.E.I

P.E.I has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Home Energy Audit Program

Efficiency PEI will subsidize the cost of an EnerGuide home evaluation and subsequent upgrades if homeowners choose to pursue renovations.

Equipment Upgrade Rebate

This program offers rebates for the installation of ENERGY STAR® certified heating equipment, water-saving devices, biomass heating devices, and other energy-efficient products.\

Building Envelope Upgrade Rebate

This program offers rebates for the installation of insulation, ENERGY STAR® windows & doors, and air sealing improvements.

Tax Credits in Newfoundland & Labrador

takeCHARGE Energy Efficiency Loan Program (EELP)

This program will subsidize the financing required to purchase and install a qualified heat pump, insulation and/or home energy assessments through monthly payments on a customer's electricity bill. This subsidy will be in the form of a reduced interest rate.

Home Energy Savings Program (HESP)

This provincial initiative is designed to assist households with low income who consume 15,000 kWh of electricity annually in making energy-efficient retrofits to their homes.

takeCHARGE Insulation Rebate Program

This program offers residents a rebate for 75% of basement insulation and 50% of attic insulation costs.

Tax Credits in Nova Scotia

Affordable Housing

This program offers rebates of up to 80% on energy-efficient upgrades for eligible rental properties and up to 100% for providers of rent-free housing.

Clean Energy Financing Program

If you live in one of 7 participating towns & municipalities, you can get cleaner energy for your home and pay for it at a pace that is affordable for your family.

Home Energy Assessment Program

This program offers support to homeowners in the form of EnerGuide evaluations, rebates, and/or low-interest financing.

Tax Credits in New Brunswick

Low-Income Energy Savings Program

This program offers support for low-income homeowners in need of major energy efficiency upgrades.

Total Home Energy Savings Program

This program offers money back on efficiency upgrades to homeowners looking to make their homes more energy-efficient. This includes insulation, air-sealing, high-efficiency central heating systems, windows, doors, and much more. Includes ENERGY STAR certified products.

New Home Energy Savings Program

This program offers custom recommendations to resident’s building plans and access of up to $10,000 in incentives for energy efficiency improvements.

Tax Credits in NW Territories

The NW Territories has several initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A list of programs available in the province has been provided below:

Rebates on Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

This program provides funding to homeowners of less energy-efficient homes in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to reduce the costs and GHG emissions associated with heating their homes.

Rebates on Energy-Efficient Products

This program offers rebates to northern residents who purchase new, more energy-efficient products that they use every day (including ENERGY STAR certified models).

Rebates on Renewable Energy Products

This program provides funding for renewable energy sources. These include solar, wind, wood pellet heating, biofuel/synthetic gas, and ground source heat pumps.

Tax Credits in Nunavut

Nunavut has one initiative to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A description of the program has been provided below:

Home Renovation Program

This program offers financial support, along with technical assistance, to homeowners who are looking to perform major repairs, renovations, or additions to their houses. Applicants who have previously received assistance can apply for an additional $15,000 to create a more energy-efficient home.

Tax Credits in Yukon

Yukon has two initiatives to help homeowners achieve a more sustainable home. A description of the programs has been provided below:

Good Energy Program

The program offers rebates that encourage energy efficiency in decision-making when purchasing certain household appliances, products, services, and heating systems.

Incentives for Appliances, Heating Systems & Water Conservation

Apply for rebates on ENERGY STAR certified products for your home.

Tax Credits in Saskatechewan

There are no programs available in Saskatchewan for homeowners.

Tax Credits by Province

Each province offers a variety of rebate programs, as listed above. If you’re looking for general information, we recommend contacting NRCan, or Natural Resources Canada, at 1-833-674-8282 for more information.

The Tax Credit Application Process

In order to qualify for these green government initiatives, you need to follow these steps:

1. Learn about the intiative

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, review the requirements, and learn about the process by clicking here.

2. Register and book your pre-retrofit evaluation

In order to participate, you must register online through the Greener Homes Grant portal. Up to 700,000 grants will be available, and your evaluation will be performed by an NRCan registered energy advisor.

3. Plan, document, and complete your home retrofits

You’ll receive your evaluation in the portal, and after such time you can begin your upgrades. You will need to complete at least one retrofit that is both eligible and recommended by your energy advisor. You can find your home’s recommendations in your Renovations Upgrade Report and on the online portal.

4. Book your post-retrofit evaluation and apply for reimbursement

Once you’ve completed your retrofits, you can book your post-retrofit evaluation and submit your documentation for reimbursement. Your new EnerGuide label will show you how your home has improved.

5. Receive your reimbursement

You will need to confirm your grant total in the online portal, and then a cheque will be sent to you.

How and Where To Apply for Tax Credits

You can apply online for each grant or loan listed. For the federal grant, you can apply on their website. You’ll need to provide proof of identification and homeownership, and you will likely need to complete a home evaluation, for which you can be reimbursed by the government.

The government has also provided resources on purchasing an energy-efficient home, and how to make your current home more energy efficient with small changes. As both these initiatives are primed to launch in 2021, you will have the next few years to apply. Earn money from the government by simply making eco-friendly upgrades to your home that will also save you money in the long run.

Breakdown of Tax Credits

Depending on what you’re looking to do with your property, you can receive a significant amount from the government to help you complete it. The grants will provide up to $5,600 total towards energy-efficient retrofits, and don’t require recipients to repay the amount. 

The $40,000 loans are interest-free to assist homeowners in bankrolling their green renovations but do require repayment.

While the interest-free loan initiative has yet to launch, you can currently apply to receive the grant. Some of the eligible retrofits include, but are not limited to…

  • Home insulation: Update your eligible attic/ceiling, exterior wall, exposed floor, basement or foundation, and crawl spaces.
  • Air-sealing: Perform air sealing to improve the air-tightness of your home to achieve the air-change rate target.
  • Windows and doors: Replace your windows or glass doors with ENERGY STAR® certified models.

Energy-Efficient Housing

Any home can be energy efficient, regardless of when or where it was built. Modern construction standards demand greater energy efficiency in new homes, while older homes can be upgraded to improve their overall energy performance. So, what makes a home energy efficient?

Cost-Effective

“It’s got a great EnerGuide rating. That means it’s well insulated and airtight, with high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment that helps keep utility bills low. It’s outfitted with low-flow accessories to lower water consumption and water-heating costs. The people living in this home keep inside temperatures reasonable, use electricity wisely, and buy ENERGY STAR® certified products and appliances.”

Comfortable and Healthy

“It’s warm in winter, cool in summer, and free of drafts. The home has great ventilation and excellent air quality; it’s never too humid or dry. The people living there use a programmable thermostat to manage heating and cooling at night and when they’re away.”

Always Adding Value

“This home’s fixtures and upgrades show a commitment to energy efficiency that adds resale value. Newer windows and doors, and high-efficiency lighting and appliances not only save money and energy but also look great to buyers. And investments in renewable energy like solar panels can pay off for years to come.”

Kind to the Environment

“All the efficient features and elements work together to lower energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shrink the home’s carbon footprint.”

nrcan what makes a home energy efficient

Energy-Efficient Roofing

Energy-efficient roofing refers to the use of certain materials that reflect heat from the sun while retaining the temperature within the home. Also referred to as “cool roofing”, this new way of roofing a home reduces the cost of energy bills by significantly reducing the need to use heating and air conditioning within the home.

Repairing or replacing your roof with more energy-efficient materials is one way to earn tax credits from the Canadian government. With your roof currently absorbing 90% of all sun and heat, you can save a significant amount on cooling costs by replacing your roof with energy-efficient materials. 

Once each initiative is fully implemented, we can examine in detail which program is best for your particular needs.

There are a few ways you can make your roof energy-efficient. Let’s look at some examples…

Cool Asphalt Shingles

New asphalt shingles have been created that are coated with special granules to improve solar reflectance and meet cool roofing standards. These special shingles are a huge improvement compared to their counterparts. If your home heats up substantially in the summer, this material should definitely be on your list for your next round of improvements to your home.

Cool Roofing Tiles

Tile roofs are made from slate, concrete, or clay and are a very popular choice for roofing materials in some parts of the US and Mexico. They are typically glazed with a coating that waterproofs the tiles and provides custom colours for your rooftop.

Cool Metal Roof

Metal roofing is a great option for creating a cool roof. In order to have a metal roof that is able to keep your building cool, you need to paint the material in a light colour that is good at reflecting solar rays and improving thermal emittance. Additionally, you can coat the material with specialty reflective coatings to improve this even further.

Green Roofs

A green roof utilizes gardens to make roofs more attractive with the natural beauty of plants, flowers, and trees. Green roofs are becoming increasingly popular on large buildings with flat or low-sloping roofs, as it would be pretty difficult to plant a garden on a high-sloped roof.

The most important factor you should consider when deciding to put a cool roof on your home is whether the cost will justify the energy savings. This will depend heavily on the climate of where you live. Additionally, you should consider your current roof type, how well it’s insulated, and the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

That being said, if you need to replace your roof anyway and don’t want to spend a ton of time investigating these factors, you could always opt for cool asphalt shingles as they cost around the same as their traditional counterparts. Using these shingles will pay for itself, particularly on hot summer days, and this will only save you money in the long term.

If you are building a new home, it could be especially useful to install a cool roof as the costs will remain around the same price based on the materials that you choose.

Is It Worth It?

Just because you can get government money doesn’t mean you should. Upgrading your home to be more energy efficient may not be the right decision at this time. Let’s look at the decision chart below:

should i apply for loans grants

A cool roof, or energy-efficient roof, can save homeowners up to 15% in cooling costs, and perhaps more in extremely hot climates. As aforementioned, determining whether you could benefit from a cool roof would require a small amount of investigative work on your home. However, if you’re looking for some easy energy-saving activities you can do right now, you can make small changes today to start saving money on your energy bill:

  • Reheat in the microwave. It’s the most efficient option for reheating food.
  • Use low power settings on devices to save power.
  • Don’t overfill the fridge. Make sure the items have room to breathe, and that your fridge is out of direct sunlight.
  • Pre-soak stained clothes. This will avoid re-washing.
  • Turn off lights when you’re not using them.

In addition to the federal grants, Canadian homeowners can also apply for a number of provincial grants regarding energy-efficient homes. Depending on where you live, you could be eligible for additional tax credits or grants in your area. A list of programs in each province has been provided below:

Conclusion

It’s time to take a look at your energy bill and see what changes you can make to start saving every month. Small changes to your everyday life are a great way to get started, whether you stop rinsing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher or you look into purchasing some ENERGY STAR® appliances to save money. 

You can also look at available government funding, such as the Canada Greener Homes initiative, to look at replacing your roof or windows for something more energy-efficient. Making your home more energy-efficient saves you time and money, and keeps our planet healthy. Consider making your next renovation green, and get government funding to assist in the process! Sounds like a win-win.

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