CMHC Green Home

Energy-Efficient Housing Made More Affordable with Mortgage Loan Insurance

More than 17 percent of the energy consumed in Canada is used to run our homes. Buying an energy-efficient home or making energy-saving renovations can offer big savings. A 10% CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refund, and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable) may be available when you use CMHC insured financing to purchase an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations.

Mortgage Loan Insurance

For most people, the hardest part of buying a home — especially a first home — is saving the necessary down payment. To help, CMHC offers lenders Mortgage Loan Insurance, which allows you to buy a house with a minimum down payment of 5%. Offered through most financial institutions, this simple solution has enabled millions of Canadians to realize the dream of homeownership.

CMHC made dreams of homeownership easier to obtain by allowing qualified home buyers to use additional sources of funds for down payments such as a loan or lenders' cash back incentives.

Help the Planet, Help Your Wallet

CMHC has added environmentally friendly features to the Mortgage Loan Insurance it offers. If you use CMHC insured financing to buy an energy-efficient home, purchase a house and make energy-saving renovations or renovate your existing home to make it more energy-efficient, a 10% refund on the Mortgage Loan Insurance premium, and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable) may be available.

The Government of Canada actively promotes energy conservation and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

How It Works

If You're Thinking of Buying or Building an Energy-Efficient Home.

If You Own a Home and are Thinking of Renovating to Make your Home More Energy-Efficient.

 

If You're Thinking of Buying or Building an Energy-Efficient Home

Step 1: Find out how energy-efficient your house or unit is and obtain the supporting documentation

In order for your application to be processed you will have to provide confirmation that your home or unit complies with the applicable qualifying requirement.

For houses and units located in low rise residential buildings

The house or unit must:

For purchases with a closing date... EnerGuide Rating Required
On or after January 1st, 2013 82
From April 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2012 80
From July 27st, 2005 to March 31st, 2010 77

You must obtain and provide CMHC with one of the following supporting documents:

To be eligible, the supporting documentation must be dated no more than five years prior to the date of the application for a partial premium refund. Where the applicable supporting documentation is older than 5 years, the borrower is required to obtain a current energy efficiency evaluation.

For units located in high rise residential buildings

To demonstrate eligibility you must obtain a letter signed by the project engineer, builder / developer or Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) confirming:

If the closing date of your mortgage is on or after January 1st, 2013, the building in which the unit is located has to be the higher of:

  • 5% more energy-efficient than if constructed to meet provincial/territorial requirements (where they exist); or
  • 20% more energy-efficient than if constructed to meet the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB).

If the closing date of your mortgage is prior to January 1st, 2013, the building in which the unit is located has to be at least 25% more energy-efficient than if constructed to meet the requirements of the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB).

The letter must include the building address and confirm that it meets the applicable qualifying requirement (as described above). The Condominium Corporation or builder  / developer may be able to help you obtain the letter.

If you are planning on building a new home and your builder is not a member of a CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building program, you should have an energy advisor evaluate the building plans before the house is built. This can help you ensure that you will meet CMHC's requirements once the construction of the home is complete and it is evaluated.

Step 2: If required, boost your energy efficiency

If the house you plan to buy does not meet the applicable energy-efficiency requirement (see step 1 for more details), to be eligible for a refund, you will need to obtain an EnerGuide rating through an NRCan qualified energy advisor and renovate using part of the CMHC insured funds based on your energy advisor's list of recommendations in order to increase your score by at least 5 points and to a minimum overall rating of 40.

Step 3: Discuss and arrange a CMHC-insured mortgage

Talk to your lender and ask for a CMHC insured mortgage.

Step 4: Confirm the improvement

After you make the renovations recommended by your energy advisor, you will need to have a second assessment done to determine the energy-saving effectiveness of the renovations. To be eligible for a premium refund, the second rating must show that the house has achieved an increase of 5 points to a minimum overall rating of 40.

Step 5: Apply for your Premium Refund

  1. Apply online for your premium refund.

    OR

  2. Complete the PDF version of the application form Energy-Efficient Renovations or Purchase of an Energy-Efficient Home and send it to CMHC, along with the supporting documentation by fax at 1-800- 245-9274, or by mail at 700 Montreal Road, Suite 1000, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0P7. NOTE: You can choose to complete the PDF form electronically or by hand. In both cases, you will have to print it and sign it.
 

If You Own a Home and are Thinking of Renovating to Make your Home More Energy-Efficient

Step 1: Obtain an energy rating for your home

If you plan to use CMHC insured financing to make energy-saving renovations, a refund equivalent to 10% of your CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium may be available and a premium refund for a longer amortization period (if applicable). To qualify for this refund, you must carry out the steps described below within a reasonable time after funding of the CMHC insured loan. Normally, the time period between the date of funding (purchase with improvements or refinance) and the date of the post-retrofit assessment should not exceed 24 months.

Contact an NRCan qualified energy advisor to obtain the current energy rating for your home. You will receive a list of straightforward recommendations to increase your energy rating.

Step 2: Discuss CMHC insured refinancing

Talk to your lender or your financial institution about which options are available to you.

Step 3: Improve your rating

Using your energy advisor's recommendations, renovate or upgrade to increase your energy rating using CMHC insured funds. You'll be amazed at the difference a more efficient furnace, better insulation or simple draft-proofing can make. Not only will you be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but you'll also see welcome reductions in your monthly utility expenses.

Step 4: Confirm the improvement

Your energy advisor will assess your home again after the energy-saving renovations are finished. If this test shows that the house's energy rating has improved by at least 5 points and has achieved an overall rating of at least 40, a premium refund may be available.

Step 5: Apply for your Premium Refund

  1. Apply online for your premium refund.

    OR

  2. Complete the PDF version of the application form and send it to CMHC, along with the supporting documentation by fax at 1-800- 245-9274, or by mail at 700 Montreal Road, Suite 1000, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0P7. NOTE: You can choose to complete the PDF form electronically or by hand. In both cases, you will have to print it and sign it.

How to obtain an energy assessment

NRCan has developed an energy assessment and labelling system to help homeowners make energy-saving choices when buying a home or renovating. For a fee, an NRCan qualified energy advisor will evaluate the house to determine its energy efficiency rating on a scale of 0 – 100.

For more information, including information on the Government of Canada’s ecoEnergy initiatives, please visit  the NRCan web Site.


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