Toronto to offer zero-interest loans, incentives for energy-efficient home retrofits

Jul 7 2022, 4:44 pm

The City of Toronto will begin offering zero-interest loans and incentives to help residents make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce emissions.

Through the enhanced Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Toronto homeowners will be able to access zero-interest loans of up to $125,000 for terms of up to 15 years.

Twenty-year terms will be available for retrofits that include rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, geothermal systems, new windows, and electric heat pumps.

Incentives will be offered for measures including electric heat pumps, which can replace a home’s natural gas furnace and air conditioner, as well as rooftop solar PV. Homeowners can also access financing for insulation, tankless water heaters, and EV charging stations.

Detached, semi-detached, row/townhouses, and duplex and triplex apartment buildings are eligible, as are tax-exempt properties, including non-profit homes and supportive housing.

“Improving energy efficiency and decarbonizing our homes is one of the biggest things that homeowners can do to help address the climate emergency. It will also create a better, more resilient future for our city,” said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

“I encourage all homeowners to make a plan to improve their homes and explore the loans and incentives available through City’s HELP program and other sources.”

According to the city, homes and buildings are the largest source of emissions in Toronto. They generate approximately 57% of total community-wide emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels for heat and hot water.

Funding for the enhanced HELP program — which has been in place since 2014 and supported 245 home retrofit projects — is being provided by the Government of Canada.

Through the Green Municipal Fund, the government is providing a loan of up to $9,712,000, which will cover the zero-interest loans, as well as a grant of up to $4,856,000.

The zero-interest loans and incentives will be available until the funding allocated for each are fully subscribed, after which homeowners can continue to access low-interest loans.

In addition to the loans and incentives offered through HELP, homeowners may also be eligible for the federal government’s Canada Greener Homes Grant of up to $5,000.

More information on the enhanced HELP program can be found here.

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