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Green Home Mortgage Options in Canada

CMHC Energy-Efficient housing made more affordable with Mortgage Loan Insurance

More than 17 percent of the energy consumed in Canada is used to run our homes. Buying an energy-efficient home or making energy-saving renovations can offer big savings. A 10% CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extended amortization period without surcharge may be available when you use CMHC insured financing to purchase an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations.

CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance

For most people, the hardest part of buying a home — especially a first home — is saving the necessary down payment. To help, CMHC offers lenders Mortgage Loan Insurance, which allows you to buy a house with as little as 5% down payment. Offered through most financial institutions, this simple solution has enabled millions of Canadians to realize the dream of homeownership.

CMHC made dreams of homeownership easier to obtain by allowing qualified home buyers to use additional sources of funds for down payments such as a loan or lenders' cash back incentives.

Help the Planet, Help Your Wallet

CMHC has added environmentally friendly features to the Mortgage Loan Insurance it offers. If you use CMHC insured financing to buy an energy-efficient home, purchase a house and make energy-saving renovations or renovate your existing home to make it more energy-efficient, a 10% refund on the Mortgage Loan Insurance premium may be available. You could also have the added flexibility of a longer amortization (the period of time required to repay your mortgage) from 25 years to a maximum of 35 years for loan-to-value ratios in excess of 80% (or 40 years for loan-to-value ratios of 80% or less), significantly reducing your monthly payments.

The Government of Canada actively promotes energy conservation and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

How CMHC Energy-Efficient Housing Works

Obtaining an energy assessment through an NRCan qualified energy advisor.

NRCan has developed an energy assessment and labelling system to help homeowners make energy-saving choices when buying a home or renovating. For a fee, a NRCan qualified energy advisor will evaluate the house to determine its energy efficiency rating on a scale of 0 – 100.

For more information, including information on the Government of Canada’s ecoEnergy initiatives, please visit:


If You're Thinking of Buying or Building a Home

Step 1: Find out how energy-efficient it is

If the house you're considering buying is:

  1. an energy-efficient R-2000 model;
  2. has an energy efficiency rating of 77 (on or after July 27th, 20051) or above;
  3. was or will be built under a CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building program; or
  4. the building in which the condominium unit you're buying (on or after July 27th, 20051) is 25% more energy efficient, than if constructed to meet the requirements of the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB), you could be eligible for a 10% mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extended amortization when you use CMHC insured financing to purchase that home or condominium unit.

The house's energy efficiency rating can be obtained by:

  • having an energy assessment completed by an NRCan qualified energy advisor;
  • obtaining an R-2000 certificate or CMHC declaration from your R-2000 certified builder;
  • obtaining a CMHC declaration from your builder that is a member of a CMHC-eligible energy-efficient building program;
  • or for condominium units, a letter from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) or the project engineer for condominium units must be obtained.

If you are planning on building a new home and your builder is not R-2000 certified or a member of a CMHC eligible energy-efficient building program, you should have an energy advisor evaluate the building plans before the house is built. This can help you ensure that you will meet CMHC's requirements once the construction of the home is complete and it is evaluated.

An energy rating of 80 is required for purchases occurring on or after November 18th 2004 and until July 26th 2005.

Step 2: Boost your energy efficiency

If the house you plan to buy has an energy rating below 77 (effective July 27th, 2005. A rating of 80 is required for purchases and renovations occurring on or after November 18th, 2004 and until July 26th, 2005), to be eligible for a 10% premium refund, you will need to obtain an energy assessment through a NRCan qualified energy advisor and renovate using part of the CMHC insured funds based on your energy advisor's list of recommendations in order to increase your score by at least 5 points and to at least 40 overall.

Step 3: Discuss and arrange a CMHC-insured mortgage

Talk to your lender and ask for a CMHC insured mortgage.

Step 4: Confirm the improvement

After you make the renovations recommended by your energy advisor, you will need to have a second assessment done to determine the energy-saving effectiveness of the renovations. To be eligible for the 10% premium refund, the second rating must show that the house has achieved an increase of 5 points to a minimum overall rating of 40.

Step 5: CMHC 10% Premium Refund

Download and print the form:

Energy-efficient Premium Refund Form

Follow the instructions on the form to apply for your refund.

If You Own a Home and are Thinking of Renovating

Step 1: Obtain an energy rating for your home

If you plan to use CMHC insured financing to make energy-saving renovations, a 10% mortgage loan insurance premium refund may be available.

Contact an NRCan qualified energy advisor to obtain the current energy rating for your home. You will receive a list of straightforward recommendations to increase your energy rating.

Step 2: Discuss CMHC insured refinancing

Talk to your lender or your financial institution about which options are available to you.

Step 3: Improve your rating

Using your energy advisor's recommendations, renovate or upgrade to increase your energy rating using CMHC insured funds. You'll be amazed at the difference a more efficient furnace, better insulation or simple draft-proofing can make. Not only will you be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but you'll also see welcome reductions in your monthly utility expenses.

Step 4: Confirm the improvement

Your energy advisor will assess your home again after the energy-saving renovations are finished. If this test shows that the house's energy rating has improved by at least 5 points and has achieved an overall rating of at least 40, the 10% premium refund may be available.

Step 5: CMHC 10% Premium Refund

Download and print the form:

Energy-efficient Premium Refund Form

Follow the instructions on the form to apply for your refund.

Genworth Financial Energy-Efficient Housing Program

Recognizing that energy costs in Canada continue to rise, Genworth Financial Canada is helping Canadians purchasing energy-efficient homes, or renovating to energy-efficient standards to combat high-energy costs.

Through our Energy-Efficient Housing Program, home buyers purchasing an energy-efficient home or refinancing an existing home to make energy-saving renovations with Genworth-insured mortgages are now eligible to receive a 10 per cent premium refund. In addition, the extended amortization surcharge will be refunded for loans with an amortization over 25 years. What's more, they'll also get access to Genworth Financial's Homebuyer Privileges™ - an exclusive on-line discount program for commonly purchased household items.

Premium Savings

Example: $300,000 mortgage @ 95% LTV with 35-year amortization
Premium Payable: Energy-Efficient Refunds
Standard Premium: $8,250     $825 (10% refund)
Extended Amortization Surcharge: $1,200     $1,200(surcharge refunded)
Total: $9,450     $2,025
*Premium does not include any applicable provincial sales tax.

How to get your Genworth Refund

Getting your Genworth Financial energy-efficient refund is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Satisfy our eligibility requirements below:

Purchasing a home:

  • Documentation certifying your home is EnerGuide Rated 77+ or R2000.
  • Documentation certifying your home was built under a Genworth qualifying energy efficient building program (to view the current list click here)
  • A Genworth-insured mortgage on a home that was purchased on or after January, 1, 2005.
  • For condominium units, the entire building in which the unit you have purchased must be rated Energy-Efficient (refer to your builder).
  • Renovated existing homes:
  • Supply documentation to certify that energy-efficient improvements have been made to increase its EnerGuide rating by at least five points to a minimum EnerGuide rating of 40.
  • A Genworth-insured refinance for renovation mortgage that was funded on or after January 1, 2005.

2. Apply by downloading the application form.

To get a copy of the application form, choose your mortgage provider
from the list and click "Download"

3. Submit by mailing or faxing your completed application, along with the following documentation (see below) to:

Genworth Financial Canada
2060 Winston Park Drive
Suite 300
Oakville, ON L6H 5R7

Fax: 1 877 246.5509
Attention: Finance Department - Energy Efficient Group

Genworth documentation requirements to accompany application form:

Purchasing a home:

  • Provide a copy of the first page of your EnerGuide evaluation report or R-2000 certification
  • Renovated existing homes:
  • Provide a copy of both the pre-improvement and the post-improvement Energuide for houses evaluation report (refer to Energy Advisor)

Refunds are processed and mailed within 7 business days of receipt of application. All premiums and fees must have been received by Genworth prior to premium refund.

How to get your Genworth Homebuyer Privileges™

Along with the refund, you'll receive a password and instructions, enabling you to register as a new member of Homebuyer Privileges™ on our website. There you'll get access to great savings on home-related products and services including major appliances, moving services and rentals, security systems, home services, computers and more.

* Available to customers of participating Financial Institutions. For further information, contact us toll free at 1 800 511.8888.

To view the news release on our Energy-Efficient Housing Program click here.

Contact an Energy Advisor click here.

Genworth Eligible Energy-Efficient Building Programs

Homes built under the following programs will qualify for the 10 percent premium refund without the requirement for an individual EnerGuide evaluation:

  • Built Green (TM) Alberta Gold Label Homes (Note: Silver and Bronze label homes require an EnerGuide evaluation indicating a minimum score of 77)
  • Novoclimat (MC) (Quebec)
  • EnergyStar (R) (Ontario)
  • Power Smart (TM) (Manitoba)
  • R-2000 (National)


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