Greener Homes Grant: Running out of money faster than expected!
The time to get your application in is now!
Ottawa’s green grants program, designed to assist homeowners in making their residences more energy-efficient, is depleting its allocated funds at an accelerated rate, prompting concerns among individuals in the energy efficiency sector. There is a growing fear that the program may cease accepting applications as early as 2024, creating unease among homeowners and industry stakeholders alike.
According to Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, the program is experiencing a faster expenditure of its budget due to the overwhelming demand for home retrofit grants. While Wilkinson acknowledged the swift depletion of funds, he refrained from confirming an abrupt closure of applications, hinting instead at the potential extension of the program.
“Yes, we’ve actually started to exhaust the funds earlier than what we had anticipated, and that’s largely a function of the popularity of the program,” Wilkinson stated.
Launched by the federal government in 2021, the Greener Homes Grant program offers homeowners up to $5,000 for energy efficiency retrofits and home energy evaluations, along with up to $600 to assist with the cost of these evaluations. Participants are required to incur upfront expenses and then seek reimbursement.
Initially intended to run until 2027 or until the funds are depleted, there are concerns that the program may run out of money by 2024.
Diana Birsan, an Ottawa homeowner, had been under the impression that she had until 2027 to apply for the program. Learning about the accelerated depletion of funds came as a shock to her, prompting a reconsideration of her renovation plans. Birsan, who had hoped to replace her gas furnace with a heat pump and address her drafty windows through the program, expressed disappointment at the prospect of cancellation, as it may force her to invest in a fossil fuel heating system due to budget constraints.
“It would be such a shame because I would love to be more environmentally friendly,” Birsan said, emphasizing the financial challenges faced by many Canadians. She urged the Ottawa government to extend the program to accommodate those struggling with the cost of living.
Natural Resources Canada revealed that more than 124,000 applicants have already received funding through the national portal or co-delivery partners in Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Despite having disbursed over $450 million from the initially budgeted $2.6 billion, concerns about the program’s sustainability persist.
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