CMHC Green Home

Energy-efficient homes can be linked to increased comfort and healthier living while improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lowers the cost of owning and maintaining your home.

CMHC Green Home offers a premium refund of up to 25% to borrowers who either buy, build or renovate for energy efficiency using CMHC-insured financing.

Am I Eligible?

BUYING OR BUILDING A HOME

Homes built under the following building standards are automatically eligible for a partial mortgage loan insurance premium refund:

15% Premium Refund

25% Premium Refund

Built Green™ (National)
ENERGY STAR® (National)
GreenHouse™ (ON)
GreenHome™ (YK)
LEED Canada for Homes (National)
Novoclimat (QC)
Power Smart for New Homes (MB)

R-2000

 

Homes NOT built under an eligible building standard must be assessed by a NRCan qualified energy advisor and have a rating that complies with the following requirements:

 

15% Premium Refund

25% Premium Refund

 

EnerGuide Rating 0-100 Scale

Rating 82 - 85

Rating 86 - 100

EnerGuide Rating Gigajoules per year Scale

Rating of at least 15% lower than “A Typical New House”

Rating of at least 40% lower than “A Typical New House”

NRCan is introducing updates to the EnerGuide rating scale. During the transition period, provinces and territories will continue to use the 0-100 scale until they are ready to adopt the new gigajoules per year scale.

 

Download the Green Home application form to apply by mail (PDF). *Important: To use this interactive PDF, right click (Ctrl + click on Mac) the link to save the file, and then open it in Adobe Acrobat.

BUYING A CONDO

Condominium units in high rise buildings built to the LEED Canada New Construction standard (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum) automatically qualify for a 15% premium refund.

 

You may also be eligible if your building meets the following criteria:

15% Premium Refund

25% Premium Refund

The building is designed to be 20% more energy-efficient than compliance with the applicable building code

The building is designed to be 40% more energy-efficient than compliance with the applicable building code

 

Download the Green Home application form to apply by mail (PDF). *Important: To use this interactive PDF, right click (Ctrl + click on Mac) the link to save the file, and then open it in Adobe Acrobat.

RENOVATING YOUR HOME

If you purchase an existing home and make energy-efficient improvements you may be eligible for a CMHC Green Home premium refund*. To qualify, your home must be assessed by a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) qualified energy advisor before and after the energy efficiency improvements are made.

 

NRCan is introducing updates to the EnerGuide rating scale. During the transition period, provinces and territories will continue to use the 0-100 scale until they are ready to adopt the new gigajoules per year scale.

 

If your province has NOT adopted the new rating scale:

 

15% Premium Refund

25% Premium Refund

If Pre‐retrofit rating ≤55**

Increase rating by 10 points

Increase rating by 20 points

If Pre‐retrofit rating ˃55

Increase rating by 5 points

Increase rating by 10 points

 

If your province has adopted the new rating scale:

 

15% Premium Refund

25% Premium Refund

If pre‐retrofit rating is 200 GJ/year or higher***

Decrease by 45 GJ/year

Decrease by 90 GJ/year

If Pre‐Retrofit rating is lower than 200 GJ/year

Decrease by 20 GJ/year

Decrease by 45 GJ/year

 

Download the Green Home application form to apply by mail (PDF). *Important: To use this interactive PDF, right click (Ctrl + click on Mac) the link to save the file, and then open it in Adobe Acrobat.

*CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refunds remain available to borrowers that used CMHC financing for a refinance of an existing home where energy-efficient improvements were made.

**To be eligible, the post retrofit energy evaluation must achieve a minimum rating of 60.

***To be eligible, the post-retrofit energy evaluation must achieve an EnerGuide rating of no higher than 250 GJ/year.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO ALL PROGRAMS

Eligible borrowers

Individuals who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or non-permanent residents who are legally authorized to work in Canada.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratios

For homeowner loans (owner-occupied properties), the loan-to-value ratio for 1 – 2 units is up to 95% LTV. For 3 – 4 units, the ratio is up to 90% LTV.

For small rental loans (non-owner occupied), the loan-to-value ratio for 2 – 4 units is up to 80% LTV.

Minimum equity requirements

For homeowner loans, the minimum equity requirement for 1 – 2 units is 5% of the first $500,000 of lending value and 10% of the remainder of the lending value. For 3 – 4 units, the minimum equity requirement is 10%.

For small rental loans, the minimum equity requirement is 20%.

Purchase price / lending value, amortization and location

For both homeowner and small rental loans, the maximum purchase price / lending value or as-improved property value must be below $1,000,000.

For homeowner loans, CMHC-insured financing is available for one property per borrower/co-borrower at any given time.

The maximum amortization period is 25 years.

The property must be located in Canada and must be suitable and available for full-time, year-round occupancy. The property must also have year-round access (via a vehicular bridge or ferry if it is on an island).

Traditional and non-traditional down payments

A traditional down payment comes from sources such as savings, the sale of a property, or a non-repayable financial gift from a relative.

A non-traditional down payment must be arm’s length and not tied to the purchase and sale of the property, either directly or indirectly, such as unsecured personal loans or unsecured lines of credit. Non-traditional down payments are available for 1 – 2 units, with 90.01% to 95% LTV, with a recommended minimum credit score of 650.

Rental income

Whether the property is owner occupied or non-owner occupied, subject to an MLI application or not, we offer different approaches to rental income for qualification purposes.

Find out more about the approach(es) that can be used to calculate rental income and the inputs to consider when calculating the debt service ratios.

Creditworthiness

At least one borrower (or guarantor) must have a minimum credit score of 600. In certain circumstances, a higher recommended minimum credit score may be required. CMHC may consider alternative methods of establishing creditworthiness for borrowers without a credit history.

Debt service guidelines

The standard threshold is a gross debt service (GDS) ratio of 35% and a total debt service (TDS) ratio of 42%. The maximum threshold is a GDS ratio of 39% and a TDS ratio of 44% (recommended minimum credit score of 680). CMHC considers the strength of the overall mortgage loan insurance application, including the recommended minimum credit scores.

Interest rates

The GDS and TDS ratios must be calculated using an interest rate that is either the contract interest rate or the Bank of Canada’s 5-year conventional mortgage interest rate, whichever is greater.

Advancing options

Single advances include improvement costs less than or equal to 10% of the as-improved value.

Progress advances include new construction financing or improvement costs greater than 10% of the as-improved value. With Full Service, CMHC validates up to 4 consecutive advances at no cost. For Basic Service, the Lender validates advances without pre-approval from CMHC.

Non-permanent residents (homeowner loans only)

Non-permanent residents must be legally authorized to work in Canada (with a work permit). Mortgage loan insurance is only available for non-permanent residents for homeowner loans for 1 unit, up to 90% LTV, with a down payment from traditional sources.

Non-permanent residents are not eligible for alternative methods of establishing creditworthiness. In cases where a credit report is not available, a letter of reference from the borrower’s financial institution in their country of origin may be considered.

PREMIUM INFORMATION

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Disclaimer

This material is a quick reference tool for CMHC’s common Mortgage Loan Insurance. Additional conditions may apply.

This information is subject to change at any time. Please verify with CMHC that you have the most up to date information before the loan is processed.

Date Published: December 1, 2021