Next Phase of Greener Homes Initiative Coming Soon
February 7, 2024 | By Doug Picklyk
Of the over 165,000 Greener Homes Grant recipients to date, over 82,000 households (50%) have purchased and installed a heat pump.
In an announcement released February 5, Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, remarked that the federal government will be establishing a new phase of the Canada Greener Homes Initiative and acknowledged that based on the success of the existing Greener Homes Grant program to date, the government will stop accepting new applications within the next two weeks to prepare for the transition.
In the most recent update on the Canada Greener Homes Initiative website, it states that as of the end of January, out of the over half a million households who have applied for a Greener Homes Grant to-date, over 165,000 households have received grants. And so far demand for heat pumps has significantly outperformed all other retrofits available through the grant.
Of the 165,000-plus grant recipients, over 82,000 households (50%) have purchased and installed a heat pump. Over the next few years, the government expects to help 250,000 Canadians purchase and install a heat pump through the Grant program alone.
The higher-than-expected uptake of heat pumps under the grant program has meant that the average grant payment size (over $4,200) has been higher than initially expected. They state the estimated average cost for installation of eligible energy efficiency retrofit measures and/or heat pump equipment is $13,500 per eligible household.
The new phase of the Greener Homes program will be part of Canada’s forthcoming Canada Green Buildings Strategy, which will focus on energy and housing affordability, and the next phase of the Greener Homes program will offer supports that are more accessible to Canadian households with low to median incomes. More details to come.
Since its launch three years ago, according to the government the Canada Greener Homes Grant program has helped recipients save an average of $386 per year on their energy bills.
Of the over half a million households have applied for a Greener Homes Grant to-date, the highest number of applicants come from Ontario (around 227,500), followed by Quebec (around 85,600), Alberta (70,600), British Columbia (55,400) and New Brunswick (20,800).
As of the end of January, grants handed out so far, by the percentage by province is: 34.2% Ontario, 20.8% Quebec, 12.3% British Columbia, 10.6% Alberta, and 8.7% Nova Scotia.
Those who have already applied for the Canada Greener Homes Grant will continue to be processed and the hundreds of thousands of energy evaluations will continue.
The next phase of the Canada Greener Homes Initiative will complement the ongoing Canada Greener Homes Loan, which continues to provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000, and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) program, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to low-to-median-income oil-heated households across Canada who want to make the switch from heating oil to a heat pump. (that program was enhanced in the fall of 2023, increasing the grants to $15,000 for Canadians living in co-delivery provinces which included Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador at the time).
The Loan program, administered through CMHC, has received nearly 62,000 applications across Canada and over 53,000 Canadians have been approved, valued at approximately $24,000 per loan on average.
Of the loan agreements that have been signed to-date, 45% have included funding for a heat pump.
The OHPA program has received 9,400 applications to date. This includes up to 1,566 in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1,334 in PEI, 4,962 in Nova Scotia, 346 in British Columbia, 438 in Quebec and 460 in Ontario.
As many as 1,565 heat pumps have been installed through the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program and the government expects to help around 50,000 Canadians purchase and install a heat pump through the OHPA program over the coming years.