Ontario does not have a centralized program that provides incentives or financing for solar energy. However, there are a few specific incentives available. For instance, the First Nations Conservation Program offers free efficiency upgrades for customers residing on reserves.
To address this issue, Ontario has allocated $300 million towards an initiative aimed at assisting municipalities in offering financing solutions to low-rise residential properties. The municipalities in Ontario utilize three financing models, namely PACE, utility on-bill financing, and third-party lending partnerships.
There are only two PACE programs in the province, both of which are located in the City of Toronto. The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) is restricted to single-family homes and has a limit of $75,000, as well as a repayment plan with a maximum duration of 20 years.
The High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS) is specifically designed to support owners of apartment buildings with three or more stories in reducing emissions through the adoption of sustainable and high-quality infrastructure.
The Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program (BHOLP) provides an opportunity for homeowners to obtain low-interest loans over a period of 20 years to cover the expenses associated with home energy improvements. The loans are capped at $125,000 or 10 percent of the current value assessment of the home, whichever is lower. Eligible measures include upgrades to the thermal envelope, mechanical systems, renewable energy installations, Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, and the addition of rental suites, up to a maximum of 30 percent of the loan value.
The program offers loans with favorable terms, including low interest rates and a 20-year repayment period. These loans are tied to the property rather than the individual, making it more convenient and affordable for homeowners to gradually pay for the home improvements. The minimum loan amount issued to applicants is $10,000.
The BHOLP was launched in November 2021, initially providing a total of $8 million in zero-interest loans and $4 million in low-interest loans at a rate of 3.25 percent. These funds were allocated to the first group of applicants. Subsequently, on June 30, 2022, the City of Ottawa secured a $15 million loan agreement with VanCity Community Investment Bank, allowing approximately 500 Ottawa residents to access fixed-rate loans (4.33 percent interest) from the City. These loans have a duration of 20 years and can be utilized for energy efficiency retrofits and other home improvements.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Atlantic is collaborating with both the City of Guelph and Our Energy Guelph to introduce a PACE initiative during the Spring of 2022. This program offers interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to support the necessary investment capital for adopting solar energy. While the specifics are currently being finalized, once this opportunity is accessible, Guelph will become one of the most cost-effective cities in Ontario for transitioning to solar power.
Residents of Durham can take advantage of the Deep Retrofit Rebate, which provides incentives of up to $10,000 to help them lower greenhouse gas emissions within their homes. This rebate can be combined with the Canada Greener Homes Grant Program as well as additional incentives offered by Enbridge Gas, allowing for potential rebates totaling up to $20,000. Furthermore, participants in this program will receive expert training and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition to solar energy.
The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers financial assistance of up to $75,000 for enhancing home energy efficiency through eligible upgrades such as high-efficiency furnaces, air source heat pumps, solar hot water systems, rooftop solar PV panels, electric vehicle charging stations, and battery storage. With fixed low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms of up to 20 years, HELP aims to make investing in energy efficiency not only feasible but also sensible and pragmatic.
This program offers Toronto homeowners the convenience and affordability of low-fixed interest rates and repayment terms extending up to 20 years. This enables homeowners to gradually pay for their home improvements while benefiting from energy savings and accessing applicable rebates. Once funding is approved, homeowners have the freedom to select their preferred contractor and proceed with their renovations. Notably, the City of Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program has already facilitated over $2 million in loans.
High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS)
The City of Toronto Hi-RIS program helps apartment building owners undertake building improvements that reduce energy and water consumption. This program provides financing with up to 20 year terms at competitive fixed rates to residential apartment buildings in Toronto with three-stories or more.
Why Participate in Hi-RIS
- Gradually cover the expenses for enhancing the building by utilizing the savings from energy, water, and operational activities.
- Benefit from the recently decreased interest rates and select a fixed repayment period of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.
- Maintain full authority over the entire process by selecting energy auditors and contractors according to your preferences.
- Obtain complimentary support services from Tower Renewal and access incentives worth up to $100,000 provided by Toronto Hydro and Enbridge.
- Hi-RIS now has the capability to finance renewable energy technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV) and geothermal systems.
Home Efficiency Rebate Plus
Enbridge Gas and the Canada's Greener Homes Grant have joined forces to offer discounts for qualified renovations, including improvements to home insulation, windows and doors, heat pumps, and renewable energy systems. The recently launched Home Efficiency Rebate Plus initiative will assist a larger number of Ontario residents in conserving energy within their homes. This development is particularly beneficial for individuals throughout the province, including existing Enbridge Gas customers who rely on natural gas for heating, as they will receive increased rebates of up to $10,000. Moreover, participants can reduce the expense of their EnerGuide home assessment by an additional $600 through a rebate.
More Ontarians now qualify
Grant funding through the Canada Greener Homes Grant is being offered across the country to all eligible Canadians. The co-delivery of this program through the HER+ in Ontario will allow eligible homeowners to access the benefits of both programs through a single application and streamlined process regardless of their home heating fuel type.
Enbridge Gas. (n.d.). Home Efficiency Rebate Plus. Retrieved from https://www.enbridgegas.com/en/residential/rebates-energy-conservation/home-efficiency-rebate-plus
Better Homes TO. (n.d.). Financing Plans. Retrieved from https://betterhomesto.ca/financing-plans/
Durham Greener Homes. (n.d.). Durham Region Rebates. Retrieved from https://durhamgreenerhomes.ca/rebates/durham-region/
Better Homes Ottawa. (n.d.). Better Homes Loan Program. Retrieved from https://betterhomesottawa.ca/rebate-and-incentive-programs/better-homes-loan-program/
City of Toronto. (n.d.). Hi-RIS: High-rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program. Retrieved from https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/community-partners/apartment-building-operators/hi-ris/