Tories, Grits pledge help for green renos

By Greg Dalgetty | September 25, 2019 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
2 min read
Seedlings, close up
© Koji Kitagawa/Amanaimagesrf / Thinkstock

The Conservatives and Liberals both made announcements on Wednesday aimed at wooing environmentally conscious voters who plan to retrofit their homes.

The Tories promised to introduce a Green Home Renovation Tax Credit, a 20% refundable credit for “green improvements” made to homes.

The credit would be available in the 2020 and 2021 tax years for home improvements that cost at least $1,000 and up to $20,000.

Eligible renovations would include the installation of high-quality insulation, high-efficiency HVAC systems and solar panels, as well as replacing doors and windows with more efficient models, according to a release.

In a backgrounder, the Conservatives said the measure would allow residents to save up to $3,800 on renovations each year.

An estimate from the parliamentary budget officer projected that the plan would cost approximately $1.8 billion from 2019 through 2022.

Liberals promise interest-free loans

The Liberals said they would help retrofit 1.5 million homes over the next five years by offering interest-free loans through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The plan would entail giving homeowners and landlords a free energy audit and offering interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for eligible retrofits, according to a backgrounder.

Eligible retrofits would include everything covered by the Conservative plan, as well as other upgrades, such as installing geothermal systems, air-source heat pumps and high-efficiency water heaters.

The Liberal plan would also cover home improvements aimed at mitigating flood risk, such as basement flood-proofing and the installation of sump pumps.

Those who proceed with an interest-free loan would receive a cash incentive ranging from $250 to $750. Loans would have to be paid back within 10 years through a CMHC-insured mortgage or bank loan.

The Liberals also said they would offer $5,000 grants to people who purchase homes that are certified to have net-zero emissions, and create a “low-cost” national flood insurance program through the CMHC.

The Liberal party did not submit these proposals to the parliamentary budget officer for a cost estimate.

Greg Dalgetty