Canada's $5000 Renovation Grant Summarized In 5 Minutes
As you may have seen, Canada announced a $5600 home upgrade grant for homeowners. Let's answer some questions and see how you can get it.
Should I go for it?
Yes, absolutely! You get this money as long as you do what is asked. So you can even do some of the renovation yourself. The process looks pretty smooth too, and of course you will enjoy an upgraded home afterwards.
That said, you may want to be strategic (I'll get to this) for where you spend the funds and when you apply for the grant.
What can $5000 even get me?
In the renovation world, $5000 may not seem a lot. But keep in mind that what you spend will slash your monthly energy bills and make your home nicer. It may even save you from some expensive repairs in the future. Moreover, Real Estate Associations report that the upgrades have a positive effect on the value of your home.
If you want to see all these together, calculated for your own home, head over to Properate and get a free report.
What is the grant process?
- Step 1: Find Your Energy Advisor. These are government-certified professionals to help you find what upgrades are the best for your home.
- Step 2: Get Your Pre-Upgrade Evaluation. The Energy Advisor comes to your home and does an assessment. They will then tell you what needs fixing. Those are recommendations, you choose what to follow. Only those recommendations are covered by the grant.
- Step 3: Renovate. Make the upgrades around the home. For some items, you can do the renovations yourself, though hiring a professional is recommended (e.g. for hazmat). For any mechanical installation (except thermostats), a professional is required. All purchases must be made in Canada.
- Step 4: Get Your Post-Upgrade Evaluation. The same friendly Energy Advisor comes back to your home and verifies that you have done the work.
- Step 5: Get Your grant. Submit your documents and get the grant. You may want to look for provincial incentives too. The funds can stack up.
So you must make the upgrades first, and then get your grant.
Being Strategic? What does that mean?
It means 2 things:
- You want to be quick at starting the process, but not in a rush to finish it. It's not a rule, but when I hear about a good government program, I try to enter it early on. We have had nothing like this grant in over a decade. For this program, you don't need to execute Step 4 of the previous question right away. You can wait. There may be more good news on the way. For example, a $40,000 interest-free loan is going to be rolled out soon. Do your upgrades (Step 3), keep the equipment labels, and wait until everything is announced; maybe there are other things you can use before doing your Post-Upgrade evaluation.
- You want to spend the funds on things that the grant covers, while those actions bring high returns to you. The grant has very clear criteria for what you can spend it on. I will get to this in the next question.
What Should I Focus On?
The energy advisor can make recommendation, but keep in mind, you are not guaranteed to get all the grants. For example, there is an air sealing grant to seal up the drafty parts of your home. Once you meet the target, it gives you back up to $1000 of what you spend. If you are unsure, then you can skip this upgrade.
For other things, like roof insulation, you can get up to $1,800. No target, you just follow the instructions and you get it.
The combined amount of all the above can be up to $5,000. You get another $600 to pay your energy advisor.
How can I get started?
Search for a local Energy Advisor online. Make sure they are reputable and experienced. Think of them as doctors for your home. You want one who has seen lots of home like yours. The Greener Homes Portal has a list of some Energy Advisors.
Alternatively, you can use Properate for that too. Our free website gives you home improvement suggestions based on these rebates. We can also find you a local Energy Advisor and help you get your grants.