We’ve all heard the story – a neighbour spends months planning their home renovations, and even then goes WAY over budget. These hapless homeowners are not alone – a survey in 2006 found that 38% of renovators exceeded their home improvement budget…by an average of 88%!
But overspending on renovations is not inevitable. In addition to planning ahead to save money on home improvements, there are many government grants and rebates that Ontario homeowners can use to avoid falling into “the money pit”.
7 Government Grants & Rebates = $37,362 In Free Home Improvements
In this article we cover seven government grants and rebates that every Ontario homeowner should know about. Combined, these grants and rebates could put $37, 362 in your pocket (if you live in Ontario).
Here’s a quick snapshot of the grants, and the maximum amount they pay out:
The RRAP (Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program) was set up by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to encourage homeowners to create “secondary suites” in their homes, and rent them out to low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
The $24,000 is a forgivable loan – as long as the program requirements are being met (i.e. you’re renting to a low-income senior or person with a disability) you don’t have to pay back the loan. And at the end of 15 years, you can rent to whoever you want.
GST/HST New Housing Rebate (1.5% of GST/HST)
Don’t let the name of this one fool you – this is not just for new-home builders. The New Housing rebate is meant to defray part of the GST/HST paid on a new house OR substantially renovating an existing house.
The catch with this one is that if you’re renovating your house, it can’t be worth more than $450,000 once the renovations are completed.
RST Exemption for EnergyStar Household Appliances (15% of retail price)
To encourage Ontario consumers to purchase products that are more energy efficient, the Province of Ontario is exempting EnergyStar appliances from the 15% retails sales tax until July 20, 2008.
Genworth Financial Energy-Efficient Housing Program or CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Refund (10% of mortgage insurance premium)
Canada’s two main mortgage insurance outfits (Genworth Financial, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), will take 10% off your mortgage insurance premium if you buy an energy efficient home, or do energy-saving improvements to your current home.
Home Energy Audit Program ($150)
The Province of Ontario will refund 50% of the cost of a home energy audit, up to $150.
ecoENERGY Retrofit Grant ($5,000)
The federal government will give you rebates for doing energy-saving renovations to your home, up to a maximum of $5,000. The amount you get back depends on what kinds of home improvements you make. Examples of renovations that pay include installing an energy-efficient furnace, installing better insulation, and sealing drafts in your windows and doors.
Home Energy Retrofit Program ($5,000)
To give an extra incentive to Ontarians to do the home improvements recommended by the federal ecoENERGY Retrofit program, the Province of Ontario will match the amount of rebates you get back through the ecoENERGY program.
Show Me the Green – 3 Steps to $37,362
Now that you know about these grants, what do you do next? Follow the steps below to quickly and easily claim your rebates:
- Find out how to apply for the seven grants and rebates
ShowMeTheGreen.ca has a brief description and simple steps to follow to apply for each of the grants and rebates mentioned in this article. Links to each rebate are provided in step 4 below (but read steps 2 and 3 first!)
- Save your favourites
When you’re on the Description page for each grant and rebate, click on the little “Save to Favorites” button that’s next to the rebate title. This will save a copy of the page for you to get later.
When you’re finished saving all of the rebates, click on “Save favorites”. You’ll be given the option to either print all of the rebates, or save them to your computer.
- Follow the steps
Each rebate includes the steps you need to take to submit your application to each rebate program.
That’s it! Pick and choose from this list of grants and rebates, or be ambitious and go for them all.