Windfall Ecology Centre is one of the pre-approved energy auditors for the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), which offers low cost financing for home energy retrofits. “Innovative financing” is at the heart of the program, explains Jen Slykhuis, Program Manager at Windfall Ecology Centre.
HELP recognizes that, for many people, the high upfront cost of home improvements is a barrier to undertaking home improvements. HELP provides long-term low-interest financing at competitive rates.
Communities across Ontario and beyond are keeping a close eye on the pioneering program, which seeks to jumpstart retrofits like insulation upgrades and furnace replacements, which have been stalled since the federal and provincial government cancelled the ecoENERGY retrofit incentive program.
Through HELP, the City provides funding to complete improvements. Homeowners then repay the City over time through installments on their property tax bill. Energy bill savings are expected to help offset the cost of repayments to the City. Making homes more energy-efficient will also protect homeowners against rising energy costs.
“The HELP program provides an innovative and inexpensive financing option for residents needing to renovate to make their homes more energy-efficient, more comfortable, and more valuable,” says Brent Kopperson, Executive Director of Windfall Ecology Centre. “Windfall Centre is working with the City of Toronto to promote the new offer to homeowners and contractors. Contractor training sessions are being scheduled in early spring in several Toronto communities.”
Approved homeowners must have an energy audit conducted on their homes both before and after their renovation projects. Windfall is one of the pre-approved certified energy auditors for HELP.
“The cheap HELP financing option combined with up to $2,000 in incentives through the Community Energy Conservation Program is a compelling motivator for homeowners to improve their homes now,” says Kopperson.
HELP is a pilot program available in specific Toronto neighbourhoods. For eligibility requirements and information on how to apply contact Windfall or call 1.866.280.4431.