Photo Credit: Tony Webster
Geothermal heat pumps are the most comfortable and efficient way to heat and cool your home, but they have one major drawback: they’re expensive to install. This high upfront cost prompts many homeowners to pass over this uber efficient technology in favour of less efficient but more cost-effective options like an air to water heat pump.
Fortunately, states and provinces are realizing the tradeoff homeowners have to make, and have taken steps to make the best green technology – water source heat pumps – more accessible. Let’s take a look at a new rebate and financing program available in Nova Scotia through not-for-profit Efficiency Nova Scotia.
Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Rebates on Heat Pumps
Efficiency Nova Scotia offers two options for homeowners looking to install a geothermal heat pump:
- A $1,900 rebate.
- Low-interest (2%) financing through TD for up to $15,000 over five years.
Depending on your financial situation, both are good options. Let’s look at the specifics of qualifying for this program.
How to Qualify
First, let’s get the biggest qualifications out of the way:
- Your home must be a single-family dwelling. Condos don’t apply.
- Your home can be fully detached, a townhouse, semi-detached, or a mobile home.
- Your home must be over six months old.
- Your home must have electric heating such as electric baseboard, a forced air electric furnace, or electric boiler.
That last qualifier will exclude many homeowners looking to upgrade, but there is one caveat to that rule: If your home has another heat source, you can still qualify if your home uses more than 21,000 kWh of electricity per year (That’s about $3,100 in power bills).
Finally, your geothermal heat pump must be installed by a Canadian GeoExchange Coalition certified installer. We’ve compiled a list of our top geothermal heat pump installers in Nova Scotia to make things easy for you.
Does it sound like your home qualifies? Keep reading to learn about the application process.
How to Apply
The first step is to find a qualified installer to give you geothermal heat pump cost estimates. A formal quote is best. Then you should submit a Home Heating (And Green Heat) Approval Form (downloadable from the Efficiency Nova Scotia website). If you’re applying for financing, you’ll also need to include your installer’s quote with your approval form.
This is important: Don’t start your installation until you receive approval from Efficiency Nova Scotia! Installations that have already been started or completed won’t qualify for this program.
Once your application is approved, you can start. If you’re applying for the $1,900 rebate, you have six months from your approval date to complete your geothermal installation. If you’re applying for financing, you have 60 days to complete your installation.
Receiving Your Rebate
Once your water to air heat pump is installed, you need to submit a Home Heating Completion Form, along with receipts from your installer and photos of the completed project and equipment. You’ll receive your rebate cheque within six to eight weeks after sending in that information.
Receiving Your Financing
If you applied for 2% financing, let Efficiency Nova Scotia know when the installation is complete. They will contact you to coordinate a visit to your home. At this visit, you’ll sign your TD loan agreement and verify your identity. Efficiency Nova Scotia will take care of processing your loan agreement and finalizing the financing with TD. Once that process is complete, your contractor will be paid directly by TD, and you’ll begin to repay your TD loan.
Which is better? 2% Financing or a $1,900 Rebate?
It depends on your financial position. If you have money in the bank for your geothermal installation, a rebate would help reduce the sting of paying for your geothermal installation out of pocket.
If you don’t have the available funds for your geothermal installation, opting to finance through TD is a good option for you.
If you apply for the full loan amount through TD, your $15,000 loan financed at 2% over 5 years will result in a monthly payment of $262.92 per month. Considering geothermal heat pumps will save you up to 75% on your heating costs, and that the system is designed to last at least 20 years, we’d call this a solid investment!
Interested in finding out how much a geothermal system will cost for your home? Find an installer near you! Or you can find out more about rebates on heat pumps and how they can make a geothermal installation more attainable for you!