Homeowners who want to be more environmentally friendly, save money, or both can make use of the CMHC Green Home Program. If you’re planning to buy, build or renovate this year and want an energy efficient home, you can get a partial refund on the cost of your mortgage loan. That’s not all. Under the CMHC Green Home Program, you could also get up to 25% in a refund on your premium. There are several standards that a home can be built or renovated to. CMHC provide an insurance premium refund of 15% to homes that meet ENERGY STAR® standards.
Benefits of an ENERGY STAR® certified home
ENERGY STAR® certified homes are built to a standard that is higher than what is typically required. These homes are more energy efficient and have better air quality. Homeowners save money on energy bills in the long run with ENERGY STAR® certified homes.
The technical requirements that a home must meet before it can have the ENERGY STAR label has been outlined by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
These are three of the most common features of ENERGY STAR® certified homes:
- Higher Insulation Levels: homes have insulation levels between walls and ceilings that are higher than what building codes require. As a result, indoor temperatures are more even. This makes considerable difference in the efficiency of heating during winters and air conditioning in summers.
- Air Sealing: homes are airtight, so less air is leaked. Warm air doesn’t escape in winters and ACs don’t work extra hard in summers. The additional air sealing in ENERGY STAR® certified homes also means that less dust, pollen and noise makes its way into the homes. It even reduces the number of pets that find their way into houses. Air sealing, along with the high insulation levels, helps to reduce the energy used to heat and cool homes. Windows and doors also seal in air, which helps to save energy and lets homeowners sit by the windows in winder without feeling cold.
- Improved Ventilation System: an air exchanger pumps filtered outdoor air into the houses and expels stale air. The heating and cooling systems typically used in ENERGY STAR® certified homes, in addition to the exchanger pumps, reduce the energy used in a year and allow homeowners to save money.
In addition to having cleaner air, less noise penetrating homes from outside and even temperatures, ENERGY STAR® certified homes save energy and money, have resale potential and are more environmentally friendly than most other homes.
Renovating to improve energy efficiency
Homeowners who wish to renovate their homes to become more energy efficient are included in the CMHC Green Home Program. These homeowners are also eligible for a CMHC Green Home premium refund. There refunds are available to homeowners who have used CMHC financing to refinance their home where improvements where made to make the house more energy efficient.
Before making energy improvements, a NRCan qualified energy advisor must assess the house before and after the renovations. There are organizations throughout Ontario which are qualified to do the assessments. They can be found on the NRCan website. Energy Advisors assess homes using the NRCan EnerGuide Rating System. This measures the level of energy efficiency achieved, which is then used to calculate the refund. Borrowers of the CMHC Green Home insured financing can receive a refund of up to 25%.
Want an energy efficient home?
GreenFlow Financial is a CMHC partner and offers financing for energy efficient homes. If you are considering purchasing a home or thinking about making energy efficient improvements contact us for any financing inquiries.
Borrowers who don’t have a credit history may also be eligible for the CMHC Green Home Program. CMHC is open to considering alternative ways to establishing creditworthiness. GreenFlow Financial can provide details based on your unique circumstances