The HELP program, now in it's third year, provides low-interest loans to homeowners who want to improve the energy-efficiency of their house and save money on utility bills. Examples of eligible cost-effective improvements or "retrofits" include replacing an old furnace, new windows and doors or updating insulation. Such upgrades have shown to reduce energy use by up to 25% and energy bills by up to $1000 annually.
For many people, the up-front costs for these improvements can be a barrier. Through HELP, the City provides a loan to complete the renovations, and the owner repays it over time in installments on their property tax bill. The potential savings on monthly bills will help to offset the repayment costs to the City each month.
-Low interest rates and longer repayment terms compared to conventional financing.
-Incentives are available to reduce project costs (up to $650 from Toronto Hydro for replacing your furnace or air conditioner with high efficiency units; and up to $2,100 from the Home Energy Conservation Program).
-Financing is attached to the property, not the owner. If you sell your home before the loan is repaid, the balance is assumed by the new owner.
-You may pay off your loan at any time without penalty.
Program funding will end in December 2016. To learn more about the program and apply, please visit www.livegreentoronto.ca. You can also contact the HELP team for more information at 416 392-1826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.