Although there is certainly no such thing as free money, there are a number of government grants available, both for home improvement and for small business. The catch is that you have to know where to look.

The Grant

Natural Resources Canada recently introduced the Greener Homes Grant, which offers “grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make energy-efficient retrofits to their homes, such as better insulation,” and ”EnerGuide evaluations (worth up to $600) and expert advice to homeowners so they can begin to plan their retrofits.” That is up to $5,600 to help make your home more efficient.

If you haven’t heard about this, you’re not alone. The ministry dropped the information on its website without much fanfare.

The three-step process starts with an evaluation to figure out where your home efficiency can be improved, such as windows, doors and insulation.

One of the reasons I wanted to share this is Tara and I are looking at it for our own home. Our front door has a gap at the bottom and in the winter, it lets in a noticeable draft. It’s on the list of repairs, but the cost and time involved makes it less of a priority. However, if the government will cover part of the cost, it makes it more attractive.

What Can I Get?

Here’s a list of what the grant can help cover. Two notable exclusions are furnaces and air conditioners, likely because those are two major repairs that would have to be replaced anyway and if your equipment is more than ten years old, anything newer will be more efficient. However, water heaters are included.

As I said, there is no such thing as free money, so there are a number of steps to take.

Next Steps

First, you have to find out if you’re eligible. If you own your home and it’s your primary residence, you will likely qualify.

Next, apply for the program and book your evaluation. At this point, you can decide which repairs you want to complete. (KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS).

You then must book another evaluation to calculate the energy savings. Now you can apply for (and receive) your reimbursement. You’ll only be eligible for a total of $5,000 regardless of how many repairs and retrofits you make, but chances are you’ll also save significantly on your energy costs.

According to the CMHC, the Ministry of Natural Resources is planning on creating a program for funding as well, which might include an interest-free loan in addition to the reimbursement.

If you’ve read this far and are wondering how this may affect your taxes, it really does not. I thought it was a great initiative by the federal government and wanted to bring your attention to it!

More information can be found here.