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Embracing Eco-Friendly Housing in Ontario
There’s no place like home. On this World Environment Day (June 5, 2023), let’s pause to reflect on our environmental impact, and explore ways to contribute towards a sustainable future for generations to come. For many, a great place to start may be as easy as looking into our own backyards – or in this case, the houses we live in.
Ontario residents are uniquely positioned to contribute to the planet with sustainable living initiatives and everyday green practices. Whether you’re looking to buy a house or condo, build a house, or if you already live in your dream home, here are some ways you can embrace eco-friendly housing practices in Canada:
1 – Build Sustainably
The foundations of a sustainable future really start at the ground level. Designing and constructing your dream home is an exciting step towards growing your family and planting your roots for the long term. With that sense of long-term living comes an opportunity to build with your environmental footprint in mind. Examples include items such as:
- using green building materials like recycled plastic, stone, or reclaimed wood
- optimizing energy efficiency with eco-friendly fittings like triple-glazed windows
- leveraging green infrastructure like solar panels that fundamentally reduces your non-renewable energy usage (and in the long run, could reduce your power bill)
Ontario has seen a growing number of housing projects built with sustainability at the forefront. These green practices contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving natural resources and combating climate change.
2 – Retrofit Your Current Home
With the warmer months upon us, it may be the perfect time to get started on some renovations or improvements to help create a more sustainable home for years to come. Some ideas to help reduce your environmental impact and utility costs could include renovations/improvements such as:
- Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances
- Swapping for water-saving showerheads and faucets
- Updating your insulation
- Migrating to a smart energy management system
An added bonus, not only do you decrease your energy bills, save money and do your part for the planet, but retrofitting may also enhance the value of your home to prospective buyers.
3 – LEED Certification
If you’re shopping around for your future dream home, you may come across homes or condos that have received LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). As a globally recognized certification, it evaluates the project, building, or home based on a set of eco-friendly and sustainability categories (i.e., water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, etc.). While there are relatively few LEED Certified properties at present, the concept of sustainable excellence is picking up steam. Not only does it benefit the environment, but it can also benefit the property owner by having better quality air, more natural light, and potential cost savings through reduced carbon emission, saving water, conserving energy, and reducing waste.
4 – Find Available Loans, Grants, Rebates & Incentives
While a focus on eco-friendly living can result in significant benefits to you and the environment, it may also come with some upfront costs or investment. To help lessen the load, the government provides numerous grants, loans, incentives and rebates to help homeowners go green. A few examples include:
- Up to $10,000 in Ontario Energy Rebates for home efficiency upgrades.
- Home Energy Loan Program – A low interest loan of up to $125,000 from the City of Toronto to cover the cost of home energy improvements.
- A wide range of other incentives and rebates to help green your home – This link provides a detailed list of all energy efficiency rebates and incentives available to homeowners from the city of Toronto and province of Ontario.
- CMHC Eco Plus Program – Canadian homeowners may qualify for a 25% refund of their CMHC insured mortgage premium if they have an energy efficient home, and submit the application within 24 months of the closing date of their mortgage. To discuss whether you may qualify on a potential purchase or renovation, please contact an Outline Financial mortgage agent who is on standby to assist! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (416) 536-9559.
On World Environment Day, let’s encourage everyone to contribute their efforts towards a greener, safer and more sustainable planet for tomorrow. By building sustainably, understanding retrofit options, and driving more change by leveraging available grants, rebates and incentives, we can make a positive impact on the environment right here at home.
At Outline, we’ve donated on behalf of our team, our clients and partners to Habitat for Humanity Canada to further their mission and work with families, local communities, volunteers and partners from around the world so that more people are able to live in affordable, sustainable, and safe homes.
Outline Financial is an award-winning mortgage brokerage offering direct access to rate and product options from over 30 banks, credit unions, and mono-line lenders all in one convenient service. The Outline team was formed by senior level bankers and financial planners that wanted to offer their clients strategy and choice with an exceptional service experience. To learn more about the team, please visit www.outline.ca.