Ontario Renovate Program

20 July 2014 Categories: Gerry's Corner

There are a number of Government Grant Programs in place. Unfortunately most people never hear about them because they are minimally advertised once in place. The biggest push in recent years has been to assist people in financial need to make their homes more energy efficient and now there is financial assistance to make some home improvements. Granted most programs are for seniors, disabled or financially strapped individuals but there are some loop holes where we can all benefit.

     Two years ago I did see an ad announcing a small fund that was available to homeowners in my Municipality. I checked the qualifications to apply and I did qualify. I requested the long application, completed it and did submit it by the unreasonable timeline. The program was under Ontario Renovates. I did get approved and had an inspector come to the house. I had applied for assistance in converting my wood burning stove to a central force air propane furnace. The inspector was walking to the house and I went outside to greet him. His first words to me before “Hi how are you?” was “How old is your house?” then “How old is your windows?” He then says “You don’t need a furnace instead you need new windows. I said to him “New windows won’t keep me warm in the winter but a furnace will” He says “But you will lose most of your heat with those windows” I replied “I won’t lose any heat if I don’t have a furnace” Long story short this was the start of a long argumentative journey. The good news is with A LOT of patience I did get my furnace and windows a year after my application.

      These programs are good and they are there to help but it is a long tedious process. If you ever consider a Government funded Program, do be prepared to do a lot of work, a lot of convincing, take a long term approach and be prepared to have to spend some of your own money. There are parts to the program such as HST that is not part of the grant. You have to pay that portion. Nothing is totally free, if you don’t pay out of pocket, you will pay with frustration.