The federal government has just announced a new zero interest loan program to compliment the $5,000 grants available through its Greener Homes program. Now you can get an up to $40,000 zero interest loan for up to 10 years to help pay for installing a heat pump, insulation, new windows or other qualifying home energy efficiency upgrades.

The cost of your loan payments (did we mention that there is NO interest for 10 years?) will be fully or partially offset by the energy savings you reap from your energy-saving actions. This is a win-win for you and the climate.

There are, of course, important details: You need to qualify for the loan amount you are seeking (credit check), you only get a portion of the loan amount before all the work is complete, and you must undertake approved steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency as outlined in the mandatory home energy assessment (no money for granite countertops).

But this is an excellent opportunity to replace that old gas hog in the basement with a clean, super-efficient heat pump or change out those leaky old windows for ones that actually keep the weather out.

Unfortunately, the federal money is considered a personal loan, so it stays with you and not your home if you move.

If you live in the City of Toronto, you can access a different loan program that is tied to your home. The program offers loans of up to $125,000 and rates as low as zero interest as well. It has the advantage of offering 20-year terms for heat pumps, solar panels and windows. The catch with the city program is that you will need the approval of your mortgage lender if you have a mortgage on your home. (Register here for the upcoming webinar on the city’s loan program.)

So we are getting there when it comes to helping people do what must be done to stop runaway climate change: Upgrade home comfort, lower bills and reduce climate damaging pollution.

Read this excellent piece in Chatelaine by Brett Tryon about how she and her husband, Toronto Councillor Mike Layton, kicked gas out their home, and get inspired to do the same!

Do you have wicked social skills?

OCAA is looking for a savvy social media manager to put some social muscle behind our campaign to phase-out polluting gas in Ontario. Apply here.

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