City of Ottawa launches its own home renovation program

The City of Ottawa plans to launch its own home renovation program this fall to help owners upgrade older homes to waste less energy.

Residential buildings cause more than a quarter of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions when they heat spaces and water inefficiently, city officials say. Ottawa declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has set stricter targets to reduce emissions.

Under the Better Home Loan Program, an Ottawa homeowner would receive a low-interest loan from the city to help pay for renovations, such as replacing windows, adding insulation, installing heat pumps or chargers for home appliances. electric vehicles.

The loans would be repaid on property tax in 20 years. They would be tied to property as a lien so that if one owner sold, new owners would pay the rest while living in the more efficient home.

The city has just over $16 million to use for the program, through a grant and interest-free loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as well as a loan from the credit union VanCity.

City officials expect the program to help fund 600 energy renovations to homes worth $20,000 each over the next three years. The local nonprofit EnviroCentre will run much of the program, from marketing to training contractors to doing the paperwork and reporting on how well it’s working.

The city plans to market the loans first to terraced homes in areas near the downtown area, as well as detached homes built in neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill, Carlington and Queensway Terrace North.

This announcement follows a promise from the federal government in May for its own residential renovation program.

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