Canada Greener Homes Initiative updates
November 16, 2023 | By HPAC Magazine
A recent Canada Greener Homes Initiative update includes enhanced funding for Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program in three Atlantic provinces, also word out that grant program may be winding down in March.
The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) alerted its members on Wednesday, Nov. 15th that the federal Greener Homes Grant program will stop accepting new application as of March 2024. With the program exceeding some of its forecast targets, it appears the government may be preparing to replace the existing grant program with something new in the coming weeks or months.
Although no official word has been delivered from the government on this new emerging development, a recent November update was released that covers the overall Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which includes the Canada Greener Homes Grant, Canada Greener Homes Loan, and the newer Oil to Heap Pump Affordability Program (OHPA), and in the update the feds announced enhancements to the OHPA and shared progress on the entire initiative.
Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program
The OHPA program was first announced in November 2022 and launched in March 2023, and it has been providing an upfront advance payment of up to $10,000 to low-to-median-income Canadian households that use home heating oil to help them cover the cost of purchasing and installing a new, electric, cold-climate air-source heat pump.
The OHPA program specifically covers:
- the purchase and installation of an eligible heat pump;
- electrical upgrades required for the new heat pump;
- installation of a backup electric heating system (as required);
- switching over other oil-using household systems, such as a water heater (where necessary); and
- safe removal of an oil tank.
The OHPA program focuses on low-to-median-income Canadian households where:
- their household has an after-tax income at or below the median household after-tax income;
- their home was oil-heated as of January 2023 (this must be demonstrated with copies of their oil fuel bills from the 12 months preceding their application); and
- they are the primary resident and owner of their home.
As of mid-October 2023, approximately 9,000 low-to-median-income homeowners have been approved for and/or received OHPA funding nationally, two-thirds are in Atlantic Canada.
Of the 9,000 nearly 90% received the full $10,000 payment.
Enhancements to the OHPA program announced on October 26 include:
- increasing from $10,000 to $15,000 the amount of federal funding that low-to-median-income homeowners can receive to purchase a heat pump with the goal of making the average heat pump free for these households.
- the increase in funding is only available where the federal government has a co-delivery arrangement in place that includes provincial contributions, currently that includes only Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- the federal government will also be providing a one-time payment to low-to-median income households of $250 in these co-delivery jurisdictions when they commit to transitioning to a heat pump to help defray the cost of heating oil while waiting for the installation. Homeowners must provide a receipt showing they purchased heating oil and a quote for their heat pump installation.
Greener Homes Grant Progress
On September 27, 2023, the Greener Homes Grant program made its 100,000th grant payment.
As of the end of September 2023, the average number of total payments completed per day under the program was 343. The average grant was $3,364 and the top retrofits were heat pumps (47,260), followed by windows and doors (38,473). (previous August update)
Under CMHC’s Canada Greener Homes Loan program, 17,814 loans have been issued, of which 7,909 (45%) included funding for a heat pump.