Wind down of Greener Home grants shows need for a consistent strategy

February 5, 2024 — Today the federal government announced Greener Homes grants are winding down and hinted at future directions to support energy retrofits. Long-term consistent support for energy retrofits is needed.

“There should be no disruptions or uncertainty in the federal government’s support for energy retrofits, given the government’s long-term goal to achieve net-zero emissions,” says Brendan Haley, Director of Policy Research at Efficiency Canada, Canada’s energy efficiency policy think-tank.

Some details of the new approach will have to wait for the budget and those details matter. A new element of the plan includes specific help for low-to-moderate-income Canadians. An area where Efficiency Canada has called for a $2.5 billion investment.

“Low-to-moderate income Canadians cannot participate in the Greener Homes program because of the up-front costs and administrative burdens. The government seems to understand this and should provide enough funding in the upcoming budget to make a difference across the country,” said Haley.

Since the launch of the Greener Homes Program, the number of certified energy advisors has nearly doubled and home retrofit projects have increased four-fold. However, retrofit projects still need to achieve the deep energy savings consistent with net-zero emissions, involving not only heat pumps but insulation and air sealing as well.

“Abruptly ending the grants will make it more difficult for the government to achieve its goals. We are a long way from net-zero emission buildings,” said Haley.

An upcoming Green Building Strategy is an opportunity to provide consistent support, instead of boom-bust programs. Haley notes that consistent funding for a long-term strategy will enable program evolutions to make retrofits easier and more affordable, such as replacing up-front costs with regular payments, project implementation assistance, and mandatory building labelling. An Efficiency Canada report, Canada’s Climate Retrofit Mission, outlined a long-term approach, moving away from one-off programs.

Today, Haley’s advice for homeowners is to take advantage of the $40,000 interest-free loan available and to think ahead by getting an energy audit to find areas to upgrade insulation and plug air leaks alongside switching to a heat pump.

“Household costs are the primary concern of Canadians now, and energy retrofits show climate action and affordability work together. There is no better time to make sure all Canadians can reduce their energy bills with energy efficiency.”



You have Successfully Subscribed!


You have Successfully Subscribed!


Sign-up to get the latest in energy efficiency news! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!


Thank you!

Get Involved!

You have Successfully Subscribed!


Thank you!