Eco-Mortgage Savings II

Energy-Efficient Further to our story yesterday, it’s worthy to note that Genworth has an Energy-Efficient Housing Program (EEHP) as well.

The program is very similar to CMHC’s.  Qualified homeowners get a 10% discount on their Genworth insurance premium, as well as a 40-year amortization with no additional insurance charge. 

Qualifying is also largely the same:  a 77 EnerGuide rating or a R-2000 rating, etc.  Here’s Genworth’s full requirements.  EEHP customers also get access to Genworth’s Homebuyer Privileges program.

We’ll also point out that AIG United Guarantee is developing an efficient energy program as well.  According to the company representative we spoke with, it’s expected soon.

In addition to mortgage insurance savings, there are naturally other benefits to having an energy efficient house.  Estimates are that people can save up to 30% on their annual utility costs by having a house that meets EnerGuide 77 standards.  Typical new homes are rated about 68.

You might also be eligible for up to $5000 from the government if you environmentally retrofit your existing house.  (More info)

In coming years, most new houses will probably have to meet efficiency standards regardless.  Certain provinces have, or are considering, legislation that requires all new homes to meet EnerGuide 77 or 80 ratings by 2010-2012.  If that happens, it’s possible insurers would increase their efficient-housing standards so homeowners don’t get the insurance discounts by default.

  1. On top of the federal program, most provinces offer one. Also, many municipalities and energy providers have the same. It’s worth a quick look on their respective websites.

  2. I thought the insurance premium on a CMHC mortgage was to compensate for risk of default.
    Is someone with efficient windows really a lower default risk than the rest of us?
    When did the CMHCs mandate become environmental stewardship? If it is, then what exactly is the standard for environmental friendliness?
    Should a 650sq foot condo in a highrise have a lower premium than a 1650sq foot house? What about people who live in neighboorhoods that are close to mass transit?
    Should the CMHC work to promote cultural diversity or “family values” too?

  3. CMHC’s mandate is more than just insuring mortgages. They are an agent of the government and as such also have other goals such as providing housing to the poor, increasing the quality of housing, lowering borrowing costs and helping the environment.
    In 2006 CMHC spent roughly $2 billion in parliamentary appropriations (around 1/3 of their operating revenue) on housing programs to achieve those goals.
    Also as far as GE’s energy program is concerned I would be surprised if the program wasn’t subsidized by CMHC

  4. Does CMHC’s precise mandate even matter in this case? They’re doing something good for the environment and saving Canadians money. What is the issue?

  5. It does raise a good question though, should that smaller condo in downtown, that costs the same as the mansion in the burbs, have the same premium rebate for energy efficiency? If that is the goal of the rebate, maybe it deserves a higher rebate? All other things being equal in terms of building efficiency, the condo has a smaller carbon footprint. Plus the added assumption that the commute to work to more efficient (walk? bike?), doesn’t the condo homeowner deserve a lower premium? If that is one of the goals of CMHC?

  6. Based on the responses to my questions, I think I can tell who bought Low-E windows and a new washer/dryer recently!
    I love the blog BTW. Without this resource, the CHMC could invade Poland and there wouldn’t be a public forum for people to question it.
    David Dodge’s public rift with the CMHC revealed that they really aren’t under anyone’s control. If they aren’t held up to more public scrutiny, they will probably go “Fanny and Freddy” on us eventually.

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