The government of Canada is launching a new program today that offers Canadians grants of up to $5,000 to pay for energy-saving home upgrades.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan rolled out the Canada Greener Homes Grants program today — worth about $2.6 billion over seven years — to help homeowners upgrade heaters, install solar panels and replace windows and doors.
"As a country, every effort counts to keep our air clean and our environment healthy," Trudeau said Thursday. "We know that these retrofits can sometimes be out of reach, so our government is now making them more affordable for Canadians."
Homeowners will be able to receive grants of up to $5,000 to make energy efficient retrofits to their primary residences, and up to $600 to help with the cost of home energy evaluations.
Trudeau said the grants will help 700,000 homeowners lower their bills and keep their houses warmer in the winter.
People across the country are able to apply online starting today (the government says the landing page for applications was down earlier today due to high demand). An application starts with an energy evaluation by a certified adviser. That adviser visits an applicant's home and determines which energy-saving measures would qualify for reimbursement.
If the homeowner chooses to proceed, a licensed contractor would then be hired to conduct the retrofits. After an inspection of the completed work, the homeowner would be reimbursed.
It's estimated that private homes and buildings are among the largest sources of carbon emissions in Canada, contributing about 18 per cent of the country's emissions.
Last week, the federal government announced it's providing up to $10 million to recruit, train and mentor 2,000 people to conduct energy audits.
WATCH | Prime minister unveils $2.6 billion home retrofit program
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said renovating buildings is important and the NDP has been pressing for action for years.
"Instead, they made it their priority to purchase a pipeline. We believe the Liberals could expand and invest more in this program so that more families benefit, to create jobs and further reduce our emissions," he said in a media statement.