Money & The Economy

Green Ontario Fund Offers Thousands in Rebates for Insulation and High Performing Windows

Thermostat - Green Ontario rebates

In December 2017, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Chris Ballard announced the start of the Green Ontario Fund, a Government-funded program that will offer eligible homeowners rebates of up to thousands for energy-efficient home renovations such as windows and insulation. The cap-and-trade program aims to promote sustainable home improvements among Ontario residents, making them easier and more affordable, while at the same time aligning to the principles of the Climate Change Action Plan. According to the goals laid out in this plan, Ontario pledges to cut green house emissions by 15% before 2020 and by 37% before 2030. Because residential and commercial buildings account for a quarter of greenhouse emissions in the province, informing the population on the disadvantages of under-insulated houses and making energy-efficient upgrades more affordable was the best course of action. He also added that the funds are being re-invested in green programs that help businesses and homeowners combat climate change and enjoy a cleaner, healthier environment. The program is currently open to homeowners, as well as tenants who get the landlord’s permission to do home upgrades.

Applications for the Green Ontario Fund can be sent online via GreenOn.ca and, in order to be eligible for the rebates, homeowners, tenants and condo owners must work with an approved contractor. In addition to rebates on insulation and energy-efficient windows, they can also benefit from a $100 rebate on smart thermostats. Those who do not know if their homes are energy efficient and need more guidance on the topic are encouraged to contact the Green ON support phone line.

New rebates covered by the Green Ontario Fund

Homeowners who do the following improvements are eligible for considerable rebates:

  • Energy efficient windows – homeowners who replace their existing windows with new, energy efficient ones that respect program requirements can receive $500 per window and up to $5,000 in total. Energy star windows are designed not only to reduce noise pollution and condensation, but also reduce the home’s carbon footprint and increase its resale value.

  • Insulation – homeowners who insulate their properties are eligible to receive a total of up to $7,200 through the Green ON rebate. They are added as follows: $1,500 for insulating the attic, $1,900 for insulating the basement and $3,800 for insulating the exterior walls. Because uninsulated or under-insulated homes are the biggest source of greenhouse emissions in the province, adding a layer of insulation would make a considerable collective impact on reducing greenhouse gases. Insulation seals the small cracks in windows, doors, attics and roofs, sealing the building and preventing heat exchange. As a result, HVAC appliances no longer need to work 24/7 and greenhouse gases are reduced. For homeowners, insulation is good news because it reduces energy bills by up to 25% and increases thermal comfort. It can be done with several materials, depending on the desired R-value and insulated area of the house.

  • Air sealing – up to $100 off. Sealing trouble spots that allow air leaks cuts heating and cooling costs. The most common trouble spots include the staircase framing, porch roof, chimney shaft, attic access and ducts.

  • Heat pumps – homeowners who invest in a new ground source heat pump can get a rebate of up to $20,000, and those who repair their existing pumps are entitled to up to $4,500. These rebates only apply if the heat pumps are Energy-star certified.

  • Air pumps – Energy-star certified air pumps installed by certified contractors can bring homeowners up to $5,800 in rebates.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Chris Ballard and Parminder Sandhu, chair of the Green Ontario Fund informed homeowners that they should inspect their homes regularly for signs of energy leaks, such as drafty rooms or house areas that stay cold despite HVAC appliances. Addressing these energy leaks isn’t only a matter of comfort, he adds. Under-insulated homes with low quality windows lead to higher energy bills and contribute to pollution.

The Green Ontario Fund is heavily regulated and Ontario residents do not have to worry about door-to-door contractors trying to sell them home improvements. In addition, all home improvements included in this program must only be carried out by approved contractors who meet the requirements.

This program has become an essential component in the province’s Climate Change Action Plan and it is expected to contribute to cutting greenhouse gasses considerably. It is funded by carbon market proceeds and includes other positive actions such as:

  • Measures that encourage the transition towards electric vehicles: incentives, building a solid infrastructure of charging stations

  • Gas emission reduction programs for small to medium sized businesses, as well as large enterprises

  • Energy retrofits for residential properties

  • Developing microgrid projects in First nations communities to reduce reliance on diesel fuel

  • A cycling commuter network covering the entire Ontario province

  • Social housing retrofits

Public reception on the Green ON rebates have been overwhelmingly positive so far, as building an energy efficient home can be quite costly and this program makes it more affordable. According to GreenON.ca, the program is currently closed as smart thermostats are being installed in participating houses, but will resume shortly, so applications can be submitted online.

Green Ontario rebates

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