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Changes to Canada Greener Homes Grant Program

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Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Enbridge Gas recently announced that effective January 1, 2023, they have teamed up to deliver the Canada Greener Homes Grant (GHG) to all eligible Ontarians via Enbridge Gas’s enhanced Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+) program.

In 2015, the Federal Government of Canada put a price on carbon dioxide emissions to create an incentive to use less energy. We, as homeowners, are taxed on our usage of fossil fuels such as gas in our cars, propane or oil for our furnaces, water heaters, laundry, and cooking appliances. The carbon tax will cost us 4 times as much by 2030, increasing from $50 per tonne to $170. For context, the average Canadian produces about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The Canadian government launched the GHG in 2021 to help Canadians lower their energy costs, make their homes more comfortable, and contribute to Canada’s climate action plan. In June 2022, the Canada Greener Homes Loan was introduced to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for home retrofits.

Here is an overview of the changes to the program effective January 1, 2023:

  • Replace existing heating and cooling systems with qualifying electric or hybrid systems to access a $5,000 rebate. For Enbridge customers only, this will be topped up by $1,500 for a total of $6,500.
  • Replace your existing water heater with a heat pump water heater and get up to $1,300 back.
  • Starting in 2023, the maximum rebate will be $10,000 – that’s double the amount of the former program!
  • All applicants (whether an Enbridge Customer or not) will apply through the Enbridge HER+ portal.

How Do I Qualify For A Rebate?

There are many ways to qualify for the rebate. We think investing in a new heat pump system to heat and cool your home is one of the best ways to access the available rebates.

In Canada, most people have a furnace that uses fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane, or furnace oil to heat their homes, and an electric air conditioner to cool their homes. With the cost of fuel, and the ever-increasing carbon tax, moving more of your home heating bills towards electricity will save you considerably in the long run, while reducing your carbon footprint.

Hybrid and Electric Systems

You can replace your current system with one that uses electricity exclusively, or a hybrid system that uses mostly electricity, but relies on fossil fuels to supplement your heat on very cold days.

Electric Systems

We have home comfort systems that use electricity exclusively to heat and cool your home. All-electric heat pump systems can reduce your electricity bill for heating by up to 75% compared to other electronic systems, such as floorboard heating.

Hybrid Systems

We also carry hybrid systems that use electricity to cool your home in the summer and heat your home during the milder winter months; and then use your fossil-fuel burning furnace (i.e. natural gas, propane) as a backup. A hybrid gas-electric system using a heat pump and gas furnace can reduce your gas use by up to 75% compared to heating with gas alone. Your savings will go up each year as both fuel costs and the Federal Carbon Tax increases.

Your local ClimateCare has both electric and hybrid systems that will qualify for the $6,500 rebate.

Here are some additional options for you to consider that will qualify for the rebate:

  • Tighten the envelope of your home: Your ‘envelope’ means windows, doors, insulation, air sealing, and weather stripping. With a tighter home envelope, your home will lose less heat, consequently, you may be able to replace your existing HVAC equipment with smaller-sized equipment, using far less electricity and fossil fuels to run.
  • Economize your hot water source: Do you have a gas hot water tank? Have you heard of a hybrid heat pump water heater? A hybrid hot water tank pulls heat energy from the air around it to heat water, making it the most efficient way to supply hot water.
  • Think long-term: Really want to make a drastic impact in lowering your carbon footprint, and your bills? If you are thinking long-term, and looking to make compound interest work in your favour, geothermal and ground source heat pumps are by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly.

To decide how best the grant might apply to your home comfort needs, you will need to start with an energy assessment.

What Is An Energy Assessment?

The HER+ application requires homeowners to contact a licensed service organization to schedule a pre-retrofit energy assessment. This assessment measures where your efficiencies can come from. Is it your windows? Your doors? Is it air sealing, attic, or wall insulation? The audit diagnosis will help determine where your money is best spent. ClimateCare will help arrange your assessment and ensure you are set up for success!

Additional Resources:

Already enrolled in Home Efficiency Rebate or the Canada Greener Homes Grant Initiative? Here’s what to do next.

Questions About The Program, How It Works, Or Eligibility?

Check out these FAQs! As always, your local ClimateCare is committed to providing you with home comfort solutions that will help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, and will help you every step of the way. Give us a call today!

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