CMHC Ups Refund for Green Home Owners

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OTTAWA – In Ontario, a mortgage insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has long been a popular option for first-time home buyers. It’s also an especially convenient route for buyers seeking out an environmentally efficient home, who since 2004 have been able to take advantage of a Green Home premium refund of as much as 10 per cent.

Effective June 22, those buyers will now have an even easier time, as the CMHC has boosted the Green Home refund maximum to 25 per cent.

“CMHC is committed to fostering energy-efficient housing in Canada,” explained Steven Mennill, Senior Vice President of Insurance at the Corporation. “Improving energy efficiency not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also lowers the cost of owning and maintaining a home.”

Regardless of whether they’re building or buying a home, new owners could be eligible for a financing refund of either :

  • 15 per cent if the home meets Built Green Canada/ENERGY STAR/GreenHouse certification standards, OR achieves an Energuide Rating of 86-100.
  • 25 per cent if the home meets R-2000 standards, OR achieves an Energuide Rating of 86-100.

Owners hoping to qualify via EnerGuide ratings must first have their new home assessed by an NRCan qualified energy advisor.

A similar guideline applies to high-rise condo buyers, whose refund eligibility depends on the building’s compliance with that province’s building code:

  • 15 per cent refund if the building is designed to be 20% more energy-efficient than compliance
  • 25 per cent refund if the building is designed to be 40% more energy-efficient than compliance
  • Automatic qualification for a 15 per cent refund if the building meets any LEED Canada New Construction Standard (Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum).

Under the new regime, homeowners may also qualify for a refund if they invest in a retrofit that improves their home’s EnerGuide rating. This option requires an inspection by an energy advisor both before and after the work is complete. More details can be found by visiting this page and clicking the “Renovating your Home” tab.

For tips on investing in a greener home, or environmentally-efficient upgrade ideas for your current one, be sure to check out the previous articles in our Green Home feature series.

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