Through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), 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
  • Windows / doors
  • Insulation
  • High-efficiency water heaters
  • Rooftop solar PV panels
  • Solar hot water systems
  • Drain-water heat recovery systems
  • Air sealing
  • Toilets

With rates as low as 2%, and terms of up to 15 years, HELP makes it easy for homeowners to avoid the high upfront cost of renovations and access up to $2,250 in incentives from utility companies. Once funding is approved, homeowners can hire the contractor of their choice and complete their renovations.

The value of the loan, which will include the funding amount, interest, and an administrative charge, cannot exceed 10% of the current value assessment (CVA) for your property, or $75,000, whichever is less. The administrative charge of two per cent (2%) reflects the City’s cost of administering the program.

Homeowners will repay the loan via their property tax bill, and can pay off the loan at any time without penalty.

Watch this short video to learn more.

 

 

5 Reasons to Choose HELP

  1. Enjoy low interest rates and repayments terms of up to 15 years.
  2. Avoid the large upfront costs of home energy improvements and pay for them over time as you save on your energy bills. You may pay off your HELP loan at any time, without penalty.
  3. Repay the loan via installments on your property tax bill; pay off the loan at any time without penalty.
  4. Receive ongoing support from the HELP team and assistance accessing up to $2,250 in incentives from utility companies, including up to $650 from Toronto Hydro for new energy efficient furnaces and/or air conditioners, and $1,600 from Enbridge’s Home Energy Conservation Program.
  5. 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 can assume the balance of the loan.

Do I Qualify?

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 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.

What Types of Home Energy Improvements Are Eligible?

Examples of eligible improvements include:

  • High-efficiency furnaces / boilers / air conditioners
  • High-efficiency water heaters
  • Window and door replacements
  • Air sealing (e.g. weather stripping or caulking)
  • Basement/attic/exterior wall insulation
  • Toilet replacements
  • Drain-water heat recovery system
  • Heat recovery/energy recovery ventilators
  • Air source heat pump
  • Rooftop solar PV panels
  • Solar hot water system
  • Geothermal systems

5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Complete an Application Form

Once the City receives and approves your application, you receive a funding offer that details the maximum funding 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 you will receive the funding offer.

HELP Application Form

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 EnerGuide 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. Complete a 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. Toronto Hydro offers heating and cooling rebates and a list of approved contractors.

Your funding request will include:

  • a list of intended improvements you wish 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.

Funding Request Form

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 including selecting, hiring and paying contractors; and obtaining all required municipal and/or provincial permits, if applicable.

When your project is complete, book your post-retrofit home 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 contractor 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 installments 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 the property.

[¹] EnerGuide is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada

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, 2018.

Terms Fixed Interest Rates
5 years 2.0%
10 years 2.75%
15 years 3.5%

 

An administrative charge of two per cent (2%), which reflects the City’s cost of administering the program will be added.

Affordability table

This chart estimates what your monthly payments will be based on specific funding amounts.

Estimated Monthly Payment – 11 payments/year
Funding Amount 5 years 10 years 15 years
$10,000 $190 $105 $80
$15,000 $290 $155 $115
$20,000 $385 $210 $155
$25,000 $480 $260 $195
$30,000 $570 $315 $235

 

 

With a low-interest loan from the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), it’s 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 proceed with their home improvements 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.

Contractor Info Kit

The following materials are available to help you spread the word about the City’s Home Energy Loan Program.

  • brochures
  • 8.5 x 11 poster
  • an image for your website
  • a short article for your website or newsletter

To request these materials, please e-mail homeenergyloan@toronto.ca or call 416-392-1826.