Green upgrades on a budget

Making your home more energy efficient is one of the most substantial actions homeowners can take to reduce the emissions contributing to climate change. Through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Toronto homeowners can borrow up to $125,000 to cover the cost of home energy improvements, such as; Air-source heat pumps- Window/door replacements-Insulation: basement/attic/exterior wall- Air sealing (e.g. weather stripping or caulking)- Geothermal systems- High-efficiency water heaters- High-efficiency furnaces/boilers/air conditioners- Tankless water heaters- Drain-water heat recovery systems- Toilet replacements- Solar hot water systems- Rooftop solar PV panels- Electric vehicle charging stations (Level 2)- Battery storage.

The City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) is a golden opportunity for homeowners to make their properties more energy-efficient while effectively managing costs. With HELP, you can secure up to $125,000 in low interest loans to fund various home energy improvements. These upgrades, such as air-source heat pumps, high-efficiency furnaces, window and door replacements, and solar photovoltaic panels, can significantly reduce your energy bills, leading to long-term financial savings.

This program is particularly beneficial because it allows homeowners to spread the cost of these improvements over time through repayments added to their property tax bill. This approach makes the initial investment more manageable and aligns the loan repayment with the energy cost savings achieved through the improvements.

To be eligible for HELP, you must own a detached, semi-detached, or row house in Toronto, all property owners on the title must consent to participate, and there must be no significant outstanding property tax or utility payments. Additionally, if your property is mortgaged, written consent from your lender is required.

Accessing these funds includes submitting a funding request detailing the intended improvements and estimated costs, which you can gather from contractor quotes. Once the City approves your request and you sign a Property Owner Agreement, you can start renovating with your chosen contractor. After completing the upgrades, you submit a Project Completion Report to receive the remaining funds.

This program also coordinates well with additional federal and municipal incentives, making it even more appealing. For instance, the Canada Greener Homes Loan offers up to $40,000 for similar improvements, providing further financial support.

For more detailed information on how to apply and benefit from this program, visit the City of Toronto’s HELP page. This is a beneficial route for homeowners who are looking to enhance their home’s energy efficiency and comfort and play their part in creating a greener environment. By reducing your home’s energy consumption, you are directly contributing to the fight against climate change.