Grants and loans available for N.L. homeowners planning upgrades

Home Energy Savings Programs to assist with costs over three years

Published on April 10, 2017

Owen Barnes installs insulation in the ceiling of one of the apartments under construction at West Valley Gardens. Star Photo by Geraldine Brophy

Some homes in the province could be a little warmer in future winters thanks to the Home Energy Savings Programs.

The two programs — one for grants and one for low-interest loans — will cost the provincial government $9 million over three years. That sum was announced last week when the 2017 budget was revealed.

Residents in low-income households (annual income of $32,500 or less) may be eligible for the Home Energy Savings Program (HELP). Grants of up to $5,000 will be available for some upgrades to existing homes on electric heat using at least 15,000 kWh a year. Those grants will be delivered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp.

Funding for the HESP is $1 million for 2017-18 and $2 million for both 2018-19 and 2019-20. Applications will be accepted starting July 4.

“Investment in energy efficient measures such as the Home Energy Savings Program can provide benefits on multiple social levels,” said Sherry Gambin-Walsh, the minister responsible for Housing. “The opportunity to increase energy efficiency in homes has the potential to significantly improve health and well-being for individuals." 

Other residents may be eligible for low-interest loans through the Home Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP). The loans are to be used for upgrades to existing homes that use electric heat. Homeowners who qualify can get financing up to $10,000 over five years, at prime plus 1.5 per cent, for heat pumps and insulation. The loans will be delivered by the Office of Climate Change, Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

Funding for the HEELP is $1 million for 2017-18 and $1.5 million for both 2018-19 and 2019-20. Applications will be accepted starting in October.

“Our customers care about saving energy and saving money. That’s why we offer many rebate programs aimed at helping homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable,” said Jocelyn Perry, chief operating officer at Newfoundland Power. “We are happy to partner with government in delivering this new, low-interest financing program so customers can install products that will provide energy savings over the long term.”