Home Energy Loan Program
Through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Toronto homeowners can get a low-interest loan of up to $75,000 to cover the cost of home energy improvements, such as:
- High-efficiency furnaces / boilers / air conditioners
- Air-source heat pumps
- Window / door replacements
- Basement/attic/exterior wall insulation
- Air sealing (e.g. weather stripping or caulking)
- Geothermal systems
- High-efficiency water heaters
- Tankless water heaters
- Drain-water heat recovery systems
- Toilet replacements
- Solar hot water systems
- Rooftop solar PV panels
- Electric vehicle charging stations (Level 2)
- Battery storage
With low fixed interest rates, and terms of up to 20-years amortization on qualifying measures*, HELP makes it easy and affordable for homeowners to pay for these home improvements over time, and access rebates offered by utility companies. Once funding is approved, homeowners can hire the contractor of their choice and complete their renovations.
* Projects that include any of the following measures, solar, windows, geothermal and/or heat pumps are eligible for a 20-year term.
You may qualify for a low-interest loan through HELP if:
- you own a detached, semi-detached, or row house;
- all of the property owners on title consent to participate in the program;
- your property tax and utility payments to the City are in good standing; and
- you obtain written consent from your mortgage lender, if applicable*.
*If your property is subject to a mortgage, we will send you a customized Lender Consent Form.
You may combine HELP with energy efficiency rebates and incentives available from the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, and utility companies. View all loans and rebates available.
Step 1: Complete an Application Form
Once the City receives and approves your application, we will send you a funding offer that states the maximum amount that your property is eligible to receive through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). If your home is subject to a mortgage, we will provide a letter and form for you to give to your mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender’s consent is required before the City can send you a funding offer.
Step 2: Home Energy Assessment and Funding Request
a. Book a home energy assessment with an Energy Advisor registered by Natural Resources Canada
The assessment will include a basement-to-attic assessment of your home’s insulation, heating and cooling systems, and detect any air leaks or drafts.
When the assessment is complete, you will receive:
- a Renovation Upgrade Report with recommendations for specific improvements
- an EnerGuide¹ rating based on your home’s current energy performance
- information on available incentives and rebates
For a list of Registered Energy Advisors and information on incentives and rebates available for home energy assessments, visit Enbridge Gas.
b. Submit your funding request
Determine which improvements you wish to make and get quotes from the contractor(s) of your choice, based on your goals, budget and recommendations of the Energy Advisor. Not sure about an upgrade, check out the City’s new website BetterHomesTO for a list of upgrades. Make sure you see which rebates and incentives currently available from Enbridge Gas and other service providers.
Your funding request will include:
- a list of the improvements you intend to undertake;
- details and cost estimates based on contractor quote(s); and
- the estimated incentive and rebate amounts available to you from the utility companies.
Step 3: Property Owner Agreement
Once the City has approved your Funding Request, we will send you a Property Owner Agreement (POA), which is the funding agreement between the property owner(s) and the City.
You must sign the POA and return to the City. Once the POA is approved by the City, we can provide, if requested, up to 30 per cent of the funds to help you get your project underway.
Step 4: Complete your improvements and submit your project completion report
Homeowners assume full responsibility for the work performed, which includes selecting, hiring and paying contractors², and obtaining all required municipal and/or provincial permits, if applicable.
When your project is complete, book your post-retrofit home energy assessment with your Energy Advisor. The Advisor will verify the improvements and provide a new EnerGuide¹ rating for your home.
Submit a Project Completion Report, signed by your Energy Advisor, along with your contractor’s invoices and your new EnerGuide rating label. The City will then provide you with the remaining funds for your project.
Step 5: Repay the loan over time via your property tax bill
Once your project is complete, the City will notify you when your loan payments will begin. You will be enrolled in the City’s Pre-authorized Tax Payment plan and repay the City via eleven monthly instalments per year over the term of your loan. Loan payments made via the property tax bill are treated in the same manner, and subject to the same penalties, remedies and lien priorities, as property taxes.
At any time during the term of the loan, you may pay the outstanding balance, without penalty, to clear the loan from your property.
[¹] EnerGuide is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada
[²] The City has prepared Choosing a Contractor to assist you in this process.
HELP offers low-interest rates and flexible terms to fit your budget. Interest rates are fixed and will not fluctuate over the term.
The following rates and terms are valid until December 31, 2020.
|Terms||Fixed Interest Rate|
- An administrative charge of two per cent (2 per cent), which reflects the City’s cost of administering the program will be added.
- The value of the loan, which will include the funding amount, interest, and an administrative charge, cannot exceed 10 per cent of the current value assessment (CVA) for your property, or $75,000, whichever is less.
- Homeowners will repay the loan via their property tax bill and can pay off the loan at any time without penalty.
This chart estimates the monthly payments, based on specific funding amounts.
|Estimated Monthly Payment (11 per year)|
|Loan Amount||5 years||10 years||15 years||20 years**|
** 20-year amortization is only available for projects that include solar PV, geothermal installation, new windows and/or heat pumps.
Five Reasons to Choose HELP
- Enjoy low-interest rates and repayments terms of up to 20 years.
- Avoid the large upfront costs of home energy improvements and pay for them over time as you save on your energy bills.
- Repay the loan via installments on your property tax bill. You can pay off the loan at any time without penalty.
- Receive ongoing support from the HELP team and assistance accessing additional rebates incentives from Province of Ontario and utility companies.
- The loan will be attached to your property, not to you, the property owner. This means that if you sell your home before the loan is repaid, the new owner will assume the balance of the loan.
Watch this short video to learn more.
The City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) makes it easier for homeowners to take on high-cost renovations and pay for them over time as they save on their energy bills.
You can help your clients make the decision to improve their home by letting them know about HELP and the low-interest loans available to them.
Homeowners can hire the contractor of their choice to complete the renovations. And, there’s no paperwork for contractors to complete.
Homeowners who request assistance in finding Toronto service-area contractors will be referred to the eRenovate tool.
Contractor Info Kit
The following materials can help you spread the word about the low-interest loans available to homeowners through the City’s Home Energy Loan Program.
- 8.5 x 11 poster
- an image for your website
- a short article for your website or newsletter
To request these materials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-392-1826.
Want to learn more about HELP? Register to join a 20-minute webinar for contractors.
Next Webinar: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 12 noon. To join: