Investing in solar is a wonderful opportunity for homeowners in terms of taking advantage of lucrative incentives and creating huge energy savings! Unfortunately, the initial capital required to purchase the necessary equipment has always been the biggest hurdle to go solar so far. However, new municipal interest-free loan programs have provided a solution to this investment hurdle. For example, In Ontario, Ottawa (and soon Guelph) homeowners are eligible for zero-interest loans for home energy efficiency improvements like solar. They can play a vital role in helping you invest in your home without the need for any capital expenses. Here is our list of interest-free loan programs in Ontario.
The city of Ottawa has developed the Better Homes Loan program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Better Homes Loan Program will make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to pay for home improvements over time as they save on their energy bills. This program offers zero-interest, 20-year loans of up to $125,000 (or 10 percent of the current value assessment of the home, whichever is less) to cover the cost of home energy improvements. The loan would be tied to the property not the owner. This means that if the home is sold before the loan is repaid, the new owner will assume the balance of the loan.
Participation in the program is voluntary and homeowner initiated. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Residential, detached, semi-detached, townhouse, residential multi-unit buildings of 3 stories or less, that fall under Part 9 of the Ontario Building Code
- The property must have a property tax account with the City of Ottawa;
- Property tax, utility bills, and all other payment obligations to the City of Ottawa for the past five years must be in good standing. If it is not, the homeowner must submit a suitable credit check;
- The property must not be in either CHMC’s Mortgage Deferral Program or the City’s Tax Deferral Program; and all registered owner(s) of the property must sign a consent form agreeing to participate in the Program.
Have more questions about the eligibility, system cost, much more? Schedule a complimentary assessment today and discover how much you can save by switching over to solar.
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PACE Atlantic is working with both the City of Guelph and Our Energy Guelph to roll-out a PACE program in the Spring of 2022. Our Energy Guelph is a non-profit set up by the City of Guelph in 2018 to implement it’s ambitious Community Energy Plan to make Guelph a net-zero carbon community by 2050.
PACE can finance property improvements like solar panels and highly efficient heat pumps. With PACE, the property owner borrows money through the municipality, uses it for their solar project, and then repays it over an extended time – as much as 30 years – via their property tax bills.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can accomplish the same thing, but in many situations, it has failed to make headway for financing energy solutions. Unlike a HELOC, PACE is attached to the property rather than the property owner, so it doesn’t affect the owner’s credit rating. If the property is sold, it can be transferred automatically to the new owner, along with all the benefits. PACE properties also offer enticing benefits for mortgage lenders, including a lower default rate than the average, and a higher resale value.
Our Energy Guelph presented a PACE program proposal to Guelph City Council in January of this year and is expected to roll out in Q1 2022.
In 2022, the City will launch an enhanced Home Energy Loan Program that will include an interest rate as low as zero percent. Through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Toronto homeowners can get a low-interest loan of up to $125,000 to cover the cost of going solar. 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 installations.
You may qualify for a low-interest loan through HELP if:
- You own a detached, semi-detached, or row house in the City of Toronto (the property’s postal code must start with an “M”)
- 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
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 March 15, 2022.
|Terms||Fixed Interest Rate|
Undoubtedly, interest-free loans are a great way to save money and can keep you free of a debt cycle. Residents of Ottawa and Guelph can take advantage of Canada’s most generous rebates, and incentives to help offset the cost of their PV systems! Solar incentives can significantly reduce the cost of the installation of solar panels for your home or business. To make the most of these opportunities, we help our clients take advantage of all the available rebates and incentives and make the entire installation process seamless!
Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about going solar. Be energy independent, save thousands on energy costs and go green by transitioning to solar today. Use this link to book a complimentary assessment and learn more about the available incentives in Ontario and the value solar can provide to your home!