Greener Homes Grant — $5,000 off a New Heat Pump for Canadians

Heat pumps are a fantastic development in cooling and heating for Canada: energy efficient, clean, safe and comfortable. 

Heat pumps are a good environmental choice, so the Canadian government will give you money towards one.

The Canada Greener Homes program will give you up to $5,000 towards installing a new heat pump.

The details matter in the NRCAN grant program. If you do upgrades that don’t meet the NRCAN criteria you won’t get the grant money. You don’t want to miss out on five thousand dollars because the rules are unclear…

Once you read our guide you will be able to confidently navigate the Greener Homes program from start to finish. 

For Ontario homeowners changes are coming early in 2023.

The new program, named Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+), will be administered by Enbridge — rolling existing Enbridge incentives and Greener Homes into one.

Early details are that the heat pump incentives under HER+ will top out $6,500. A useful increase on the $5k maximum available through Greener Homes.

Table of Contents

Why I Made This

I’m a homeowner in Peterborough, Ontario who has been bewildered by the choices and rules around heat pumps and grants.

It’s stupidly difficult to find trustworthy answers amongst all the outdated and biased information out there.

I spent weeks and months researching and speaking with experts. Good news! There are straightforward answers to all your heat pump questions. 

So, Heat Pump Savvy was launched. A reliable, independent source of heat pump info for Canadian homeowners.

Not sure if a heat pump is right for your home? Find out in our guide Heat Pumps for Canadian homeowners.

Jumping into the Greener Homes rebates…

Greener Homes Covers for More Than Heat Pumps

I’m focusing on heat pump purchases here, but the Greener Homes program offers rebates for lots of different upgrades: insulation, energy efficient windows, solar panels… Greener Homes will cover lots of home efficiency retrofits.

Read on for the rundown on getting a grant for a home heat pump…

The Money

Greener Homes offers three pots of money:

  1. $5,000 grant (aka rebate) for your upgrades.
    This is the total available per home — so you can’t get a $5k rebate for a heat pump and another $5k for insulation.
  2. $600 towards energy audit costs.
    To get any grant money from Green Homes you must have a pair of EnerGuide home evaluations done by an energy advisor. One before you do any upgrades and a second when the upgrades are complete.
Greener Homes only pay $600 towards your EnerGuide evaluations if you complete at least one eligible upgrade. If you drop the Greener Homes process after a pre-retrofit assessment you'll be out of pocket by about $550.
The evaluations typically come to about $700 before tax — so $600 from Greener Homes helps but it doesn't quite cover the whole cost. ​
  1. Up to $40,000 interest free loan.
    NRCAN introduced the loan part of Greener Homes in 2022 to finance more extensive improvements.
    Total installed cost for a high quality whole-home heat pump is often $15,000 and upwards, before tax. So the $5k rebate is useful but you’ll still have significant out of pocket costs. Using the interest-free loan lets you spread those costs over 10 years.
Try to be sure that your contractors have included all costs in the estimate. Greener Homes approve loan amounts based on the estimates you submit — they won't increase the loan if your actual costs are higher.​
You should include all your planned Greener Homes eligible upgrades with your loan application. You can't come back later and add upgrades to the loan.

The Greener Homes Checklist

Here’s the step-by-step process for doing home upgrades within the Greener Homes program:

  1. Register on the Greener Homes website
    Start at the Greener Homes site and register your details to begin the process.
  2. Have your home energy pre-upgrade energy assessment done
    Next the site shows you a list of local energy advisors to select from. The advisor will come out to your home to gather data to generate a report — this goes to you and Greener Homes.
  3. Contact local contractors
    The common advice is to get estimates from at least three contractors.
Some HVAC contractors will try to steer you away from heat pumps. This usually says more about them than the technology — they're comfortable with the old world and not keen to move on. Keep looking until you find a contractor who is open to working with heat pumps and will walk you through selecting the right system for you.
  1. Select a contractor
    Select the contractor and equipment that suits your needs.
Check out our guide to finding a good heat pump installer.
  1. Loan Approval
    If you’re applying for the Greener Homes interest free loan: Submit written estimates from your selected contractor through the Greener Homes site.
  2. Complete Upgrades
  3. Post-Upgrade home energy audit
    Once all your retrofits are complete arrange a return visit from your energy assessor. They will verify that the correct work has been completed and update their data to measure the benefits.
Login to the Greener Homes site a couple of weeks after your post-upgrade is completed to check that the report has been received in the system. It has been known for applications to get "stuck" — call your energy advisor if this happens to you.​
  1. Grant Approval This can take a few months — eventually though you’ll get your cash from Greener Homes.

What to Expect From Your Energy Assessment

An NRCAN certified energy advisor will come to your home. They’ll take a bunch of measurements and examine how your home is built. Plus they’ll run a blower door test — using a fan to gently pressurize the building and measure how leaky it is.

The energy advisor will take away all the data they gather and generate a report on your home. The process and report are a standardized format called the EnerGuide Evaluation: here’s a sample.

The report tells you about the energy efficiency of your home now. Plus the report lists recommended upgrades and explains the benefit you can expect for each one.

Greener Homes only funds upgrades which are recommended in your Assessment. Mention to your energy advisor that you're interested in a heat pump — to be certain they include it in their recommendations.

If your energy assessment report misses the heat pump, just ask your advisor to amend the report submitted to Greener Homes. Once they do that you're good to go.

Greener Homes Interest Free Loans

Greener Homes loans are interest free and up to $40,000. They can be used to fund any work that would be eligible for a Greener Homes grant.

You should include all the upgrades you want in the application — it’s a one-shot application so you can’t add more upgrades later.

To qualify for the loan you will need a good credit score and no history of bankruptcy or consumer credit proposals.

Try to be sure that your contractors have included all applicable costs in their estimates. Greener Loans won’t increase the amount of your loan if your actual costs end up higher than the estimates you provide.

Canada's Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) Grant

OHPA is an add-on to the Federal Greener Homes grant program. It’s designed to help low- to middle-income homeowners switch from oil heating. 

Oil prices have skyrocketed in recent years and it is a highly polluting fuel — so the help to switch makes a lot of sense.

Households with less than the Canadian median income will be eligible for OHPA. e.g. A four person household in Ontario with after-tax income below $122,000 would qualify.

Check the eligible income levels for your province at NRCan.

A useful feature of the OHPA is that it can be applied to upgrades to electrical supply and panel as well as oil tank removal. 

These extra costs can be substantial. However they’re not covered by the main Greener Homes program — so it’s good to see them covered by this program.

FAQ about Greener Homes and Heat Pumps

What is Cold Climate Heat Pump and Why Does it Qualify for a Bigger Grant?

The Greener Homes program covers two classes of heat pumps: 

  1. Air-Source Heat Pumps (ASHP).
  2. Cold Climate Air-Source Heat Pumps (ccASHP)

As you’d expect, ccASHP units perform better when it’s cold out. 

Any heat pump that NRCAN approves for a grant should be useful in Canada. The ccASHP units will be more effective on colder days.

According to the Greener Homes rules:

  • ccASHP units must deliver at least 70% of their rated heating output in -15°C weather. e.g. a heat pump labeled as delivering 36,000 btu must deliver at least 25,000 btu when it’s -15°C out.  The best cold climate units deliver 100% of rated output at those temperatures.
  • ccASHP must have a CoP of 1.8 or better at -15°C — meaning they deliver 1.8x as much heat energy as they consume in electricity. Put another way, they must be nearly twice as efficient as electric baseboards even when it’s -15°C outside.

Superior cold climate units cost more to buy (but less to run). Greener Homes offers an extra $1,000 to encourage homeowners to opt for ccASHP. The grants max out at $5k for a cold climate unit vs. $4k for a heat pump that’s not cold climate certified.

Can I get an Greener Homes Grant for a Ground Source Heat Pump?

Yes. Greener Homes offers $5,000 for a complete new ground source system. Or $3,000 to replace the heat pump on an existing ground-source system.

Sometimes known as geothermal heat pumps, ground source units gather heat via liquid filled pipes buried underground. 

These systems are typically more expensive to up front but cheaper to run. They’re efficient because they pull heat from earth below the frost line which has a steady temperature year round.

Does Greener Homes Offer Grants for Water Source Heat Pumps?

No. Water source pumps, which gather heat from bodies of water, are not covered by Greener Homes.

Can I Keep My Existing Gas Furnace with a Ducted Heat Pump?

Possibly, but probably not.

Some heat pumps can be combined with a gas furnace. Using the blower fan in your furnace to distribute the heated or cooled air from your heat pump, instead of a dedicated air handler unit. This is called a “hybrid” or “dual-fuel” heat pump installation.

Will Greener Homes give you a grant for this kind of installation though? Probably not. 

From the NRCAN Greener Homes website:

“For central ducted and hybrid systems, the furnace or air handler must always be the specified matching unit.”

You only get the grant for a heat pump paired with a furnace if you install a set of outdoor heat pump, indoor coil and furnace which are listed together in the eligible list. Only some of the most recent furnaces have any matches listed at all.

Check if Your Furnace is Greener Homes Approved

To get a Greener Homes for a hybrid heat pump you need to be certain your exact equipment is approved. Here’s how…

First identify your furnace. You’re looking for a label on the furnace itself — sometimes the label’s attached to the outside, other times inside an access panel on the front of the unit.

Your model will be an unfriendly looking string of letters and numbers. My furnace for example is a catchily named WPV050T3AA.

Next step is to see if this model number appears on the NRCAN list

Plug your model number into the Furnace model field and leave the rest of the form alone. 

NRCAN search form

Hit Search…

I’m lucky, there is an option to keep this furnace and add-on a ducted heat pump. Most likely that list will come back empty for your furnace model — the vast majority of gas furnaces don’t have an approved heat pump match.

Well intentioned HVAC contractors might claim you can get grant money for a ducted heat pump paired with a furnace that's not on the matching list. Not true! Greener Homes pays nothing for non-matched systems.
If your existing furnace has no heat pump matches on the Greener Homes list, you still have three options to get the grant money:

A) Leave your existing furnace in place and install ductless mini- or multi-split heat pumps to augment your heating and cooling.
B) Install a new high-efficiency gas furnace along with a matching heat pump.
C) Remove your furnace and go pure heat pump for your heating and cooling.

Can I Install a Heat Pump Myself and Qualify for a Greener Homes Grant?

No. You only get the grant if you have your heat pump professionally installed.

There are heat pump systems designed for DIY installation like Mr. Cool and Senville but…

“Your air source heat pump or cold climate air source heat pump must be installed by a licensed and trained professional” 

Greener Homes website

Does My New Heat Pump Have to Heat My Whole Home?

To be eligible for a Greener Homes grant your new heat pump system must deliver heat to your entire home:

"The Canada Greener Homes Grant initiative requires that the heat pump system be capable of distributing heat throughout the entire conditioned space in the house, including [any full height basement]... This applies regardless of whether the heat pump system is a central ducted, mini- or multi-split ducted or ductless system."

This usually isn’t a challenge with a ducted heat pump — assuming you have ducts throughout your home. 

Things can get more complicated if you’re going with mini-split or multi-split units. You will probably need multiple “head” units to deliver heat to all parts of your home. 

Well intentioned HVAC contractors might claim you can get grant money for a ducted heat pump paired with a furnace that's not on the matching list. Not true! Greener Homes pays nothing for non-matched systems.

"A minimum of one warm air supply outlet or indoor head is required on every floor... More than one warm air supply outlet and/or indoor head per floor may be required to ensure heat distribution to the entire building."

Ducted vs. Split Heat Pumps: ducted heat pumps deliver heated and cooled air via ductwork. Mini- and multi-split units deliver heat directly (usually using wall mounted units). We dig into the pros and cons of each type in our guide to heat pump types.

Do I Have to Switch to All-Electric Heating to Get a Greener Homes Grant?

No, an eligible heat pump system can include another source of heat. 

Some people insist that Greener Homes only pay out if you go all-electric for your heating. They're wrong. You do not need to go all-electric to qualify for Greener Homes.

Here’s confirmation direct from the official Greener Homes website:

"The heat pump system can work as a standalone system or in conjunction with an existing backup heating system."

Although Greener Homes allows hybrid systems, combining a heat pump with a natural gas or propane furnace, only some combinations are eligible.

Can I Get Greener Home Grants for a Home I Rent Out?

No. Greener Homes only covers upgrades to the owner’s primary residence.

Does Greener Homes Work for Condo Owners?

Mostly no. Greener Homes does cover some MURBs (Multi Unit Residential Buildings). 

Grants of any kind are only offered for buildings with no more than 3 storeys though. And Greener Homes won’t cover heat pumps for any building with more that two units🙁

"MURBs (excluding two-unit MURBs and houses with secondary suites) are not eligible for grants related to ... Heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, Thermostats, Furnaces and boilers (in northern and off-grid communities)"

Are Greener Homes Rules Different for Northern Residents?

The Greener Homes rules and grants are a bit different for homeowners in off-grid communities. You get up to 30% larger grants and some fossil-fuel upgrades are eligible.

Greener Homes define off-grid homeowners as:

  1. Not currently connected to the North American electrical grid nor to the piped natural gas network
  2. Living in a permanent or long-term (five years or more) settlement with at least 10 dwellings

You can check if your community counts as off-grid using the official map.

If you’re eligible, you might get can get as much as 30% more grant money for installing a heat pump. 

The total grant amount per home tops out at $5k though whether your on- or off-grid. So, some upgrades see no increase — specifically cold climate heat pumps which are already at the limit of $5k.

 Standard grantOff-Grid Community grant
Mini- or multi-split air source heat pump — 2 heads$2,500$3,250
Mini- or multi-split air source heat pump — 3+ heads$4,000$5,000
Mini- or multi-split cold climate air source heat pump — 3+ heads$5,000
Central ducted air source heat pump $4,000$5,000
Central ducted cold climate air sourced heat pump $5,000

Are There Different Rules for Indigenous Groups Applying for Greener Homes?

Yes, there are. Indigenous Groups can apply for retrofit grants and loans for groups of homes where the homeowner does not have to be the resident.

Other Rebate Programs You Should Know About

Greener Homes is the only Canada-wide program that offers heat pump rebates. There are lots of provincial and municipal programs that might help out with costs too.

Find all the details in our guide to regional rebates.


Greener Homes grants are a great boost for Canadian homeowners who want greener and more affordable heating and cooling.

If you still have questions about whether a heat pump is a good choice for you, read our guide to heat pumps for Canadians.

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