Recently I attended a CMHC learning session about the enhancements to its Eco Plus program and the rollout of its Eco Improvements program.
If you purchase a home (with less than 20 per cent down payment) that meets specific energy efficiency guidelines, you may be eligible to receive a 25% of your default insurance premium back.
Building codes are constantly changing as we move towards creating more energy efficient homes. Many new homes are built to a standard that qualifies you for this rebate, so if you have purchased a new build (and have an insured mortgage) over the last few years it may be worth doing some leg work to see if you are able to take advantage of this program. It will likely mean connecting with your builder to determine the energy efficiency rating of your home.
What I found really exciting is CMHC’s new Eco Improvements program.
Sometimes clients will find an older home they love that needs updating. We can use a purchase plus improvements mortgage to help build funds into their mortgage to help them do the renovations upfront instead of picking away at them over time.
CMHC’s new Eco Improvements program offers a rebate of your insurance premium (again this only applies if you are purchasing a home with less than 20% down) if you use funds, either from a purchase plus improvements mortgage or your own resources if you use these funds to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
From the CMHC resource material, here are the high-level guidelines of the program.
A premium refund is available based on the following requirements:
Purchase of existing housing including individual residential condominium units in low-rise buildings.
An existing home is eligible if a minimum of $20,000 of intended improvement budget is allocated for energy efficiency improvements that fall within any of the following three main categories:
• Building envelope (e.g., insulation, windows, doors, roof, attic, air tightness and foundation)
• Mechanical systems (e.g., HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and heat pump systems)
• Renewable energy systems (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal)
What’s even more exciting about this program is that you are able to access other grants and rebates for energy efficiency improvements to your home which will make these improvements much more affordable while lowering your utility bills for years to come. It’s a win-win.
There are specific steps you need to follow to access the rebates, so please make sure you do your homework to make sure you are able to maximize what you are able to take advantage of. Some research and legwork upfront could save you thousands of dollars.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.