Even though many homeowners are interested in switching to solar, one of the biggest barriers has always been the setup cost.
This year, Canada has released the Greener Homes Grant. It’s intended to help homeowners fund projects that increase the energy efficiency of their houses.
The goals of this grant are twofold:
- To make energy efficient solutions, like solar, more accessible to homeowners
- To reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate change commitments
Interested in applying? To qualify, you must provide proof that you own your home. Newly built homes are not eligible for this grant, and only one grant is available per household.
Although details are still emerging, we’ve assembled everything that we know about the grant so far, and how you can use it to fund your solar installation:
What is Included in this Grant?
A total of $5,600 can be reimbursed to Canadians who are successful with their grant application. Of that money, $600 can be used for planning the project with an expert or home evaluator. The evaluator must be an NRCan-registered energy advisor.
The grant is designed to reimburse homeowners after the project has reached completion—you’ll need to pay for and complete the project before you receive the grant money. Be sure to document all your expenses in detail! It may take up to one month to receive the money after the project and the following evaluation are complete.
A complete list of eligible retrofits is available online. On that list, you’ll find a section with details about how you can fund your solar installation.
How Do I Use the Canada Greener Homes Grant for Solar?
If you’ve always wanted to make the switch to solar, now is the time. One of the eligible retrofits for this grant is “Renewable energy”, which covers the installation of photovoltaic solar panels for generating electricity. Homeowners can receive the full $5,000 towards their project, along with an additional $600 for pre and post-evaluations.
To be eligible for this grant, you must first schedule a home evaluation with an energy advisor. There are a few other requirements, which include:
- The PV panels and inverter must meet CSA Standards
- The peak power capacity of the panel must be more or equal to 1.0 kW
- You must purchase the panels and equipment in Canada; if you order online, it must be from a Canadian distributor
Along with the purchase and installation of your PV panels, you can also use a portion of the grant money for resiliency measures. One option is to purchase batteries for your solar panel setup, an expense that the incentive covers up to $1,000 of when combined with another energy efficiency upgrade.
Even though $5,000 won’t cover the entire cost of a solar installation, it gives a starting point for those who’ve been on the fence about solar. The grant makes this eco-friendly upgrade more accessible to homeowners across Canada.
Not only will the Greener Homes Grant cover a portion of your costs, but when you go solar, you’ll enjoy monthly savings on your energy bills. This can offset the costs that aren’t covered by the grant.
An Interest-Free Loan
In addition to the grant, the Canadian government announced that it will also make up to $40,000 available to homeowners for deep home retrofits.
Unlike the grant, this money will not be reimbursed; homeowners will be required to pay it back. However, they won’t need to pay any interest on the loan. Up to 200,000 homeowners can apply for this loan.
This eliminates yet another barrier that prevents homeowners from setting up solar—with an interest-free loan, they can afford the initial cost of setting up a PV system and pay it off over time.
More details are expected to come out about this loan in the next few months.
The Canada Greener Homes grant benefits everyone: it helps homeowners afford solar, it makes the planet a greener place, and it helps Canada reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Demand for this grant is high nationwide. So far, it’s estimated that over 30,000 Canadians have applied for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, and up to 700,000 grants are available. The grant is open for applications for the next seven years (or until the maximum number of applicants has been reached).
If you’re thinking about using this grant to install a solar system, now is your chance. Get in touch with us to learn about how you can set up solar for your home.