Efficiency Canada reacts to the Greener Homes Loan Program announcement
June 17, 2022
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The loans were part of the 2019 Liberal Party platform and funded in the 2021 federal budget. They complement existing grants up to $5,000.
Brendan Haley, Director of Policy Research at Efficiency Canada, an energy efficiency research and advocacy organization based at Carleton University, says the loans are a necessary complement to the existing grant.
“The type of retrofits required to achieve net-zero emissions need to produce substantial energy savings and prepare a home to convert to zero-carbon heating systems. Adding this loan to the existing grant will help more Canadians achieve deeper energy savings and comfortable homes,” says Haley.
Deep retrofits—renovations that achieve at least 50 per cent energy savings while switching to zero-carbon heating sources—can cost $50,000 to $100,000 or more.
The announcement also referenced an energy efficiency program for non-profit and co-operative housing, which Efficiency Canada welcomes as a way to keep affordable housing affordable and healthy. However, Haley notes that a specific strategy is still needed to help most low-income Canadians access energy efficiency.
“The loans announced today aren’t accessible to low-income Canadians unable to take on more debt, and existing grants require payment up front,” says Haley.
There is no federal solution right now for low-income Canadians who own their own homes or rent from private landlords. The United States has had a national low-income program since the 1970s.
In March, Efficiency Canada released an Efficiency for All report that outlined the role federal policy can play in boosting low-income efficiency.
About Efficiency Canada
Efficiency Canada is the national voice for an energy efficient economy. We envision a future where Canada uses energy efficiency to its fullest potential. This means maximizing the benefits of energy efficiency resulting in a sustainable environment, a productive economy, and a just and equitable society.
Efficiency Canada is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre, which is located on the traditional unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.
Gillian Welsey, Director of Communications, Efficiency Canada