The Government of Canada launched the Canada Greener Homes initiative in May 2021 to help Canadians make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, fight climate change and create good jobs – all while helping homeowners save on their monthly energy bills.
With buildings – including homes – accounting for 18 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy-efficient retrofits are an important component of Canada’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 while creating good jobs in every region of the country.
This seven-year initiative is one of the building blocks of Canada’s energy transformation. It is expected to generate over 110,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada, building on the more than 436,000 direct jobs the energy efficiency sector accounted for in 2018.
The initiative has proven to be extremely popular. Already, the program has helped people across the country retrofit their homes while creating good jobs for Canadians. This is another example of how investing in climate action not only keeps our air clean, but makes life more affordable and creates middle-class jobs.
This popularity resulted in some early delays in processing applications. NRCan has responded quickly: measures have been put in place to reduce wait times and restore service standards, including streamlining processes and hiring new staff.
By the Numbers
- Program value: $2.6 billion
- Program timeline: seven years
- Total grant per homeowner: up to $5,000 for eligible energy-efficient improvements; up to $600 for EnerGuide home evaluations
- Total grants: 700,000
Progress to date:
- Applications: 182,400+ applicants as of January 24, 2021
- 132,400 through the NRCan portal
- 50K+ applications through our partners in Quebec and Nova Scotia
- Payments: $1M+ in grants have already been sent to homeowners
How We’re Serving you Better
1. Processing applications more rapidly
Canadian homeowners have been clear: they are eager to make their homes more energy-efficient.
The Greener Homes program has received applications for over 25 per cent of its intended grants in just the first seven months of its seven-year lifespan. NRCan has adapted accordingly by streamlining processes, reallocating resources, hiring new staff and targeting key areas for support. In doing this, we managed to clear a backlog of more than 70,000 applications from the system (see Graph 1). As of December 2021, new applicants can expect a response from NRCan within four weeks. As of January 24, 2022, there are only 2,845 applications in the system that have yet to be processed, and currently new applicants are receiving responses within two weeks.
2. Accelerating grant payments
We recognize homeowners are making substantial investments to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and lower their energy bills. Homeowners will receive their grant when all steps of their home retrofit journey are complete. That includes the pre- and post-retrofit evaluations.
Within 40 business days of the homeowner submitting final receipts and required documentation, program staff will review the claim and determine the grant amount the homeowner will receive. Once approved, payment should be issued by mail within 30 days. Homeowners can check the status of their file using the online Greener Homes portal.
3. Recruiting more energy advisors
On January 28, 2022, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $903,000 investment for the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA) to help recruit and train up to 90 energy advisors in Manitoba.
This funding was provided through the $10-million call for proposals announced in May 2021 to train up to an additional 2,000 energy advisors, which will almost triple the pool that existed in Canada before this investment. So far, we’ve registered 185 new energy advisors to add to the more than 1,000 already hard at work.
Now, with more advisors on the road, you’ll get one to your home sooner. This will speed up your retrofit journey – and get your retrofit grant into your pocket faster.
But that’s only half the story. This $10-million investment, the Canada Greener Homes Grant, and the federal government’s upcoming investments in building retrofits, will create job opportunities for Canadians across the country. More Canadians are looking to join this growing workforce that will help us achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Over the next several months, we will announce further agreements with private sector partners to recruit, mentor and train energy advisors.
Number of contribution of agreements signed to date: 5
Number of contribution of agreements under negotiation: 13
4. Making it easier to connect to an advisor
We’re actively working with private sector partners to implement creative solutions to alleviate the immediate pressure felt by Canada’s energy advisors by:
- Deploying energy advisors to underserved areas in remote and rural communities;
- Piloting remote home audits to connect advisors to homeowners across different regions; and
- Matching energy advisor supply to demand across the country.
Building a Net-Zero Workforce
Retrofitting homes and buildings is essential work in building a net-zero economy by 2050, and energy advisors are critical to that work. The demand for energy advisors will only grow in the years and decades to come; this is an opportunity for Canadians to build stable, well-paying careers as part of a growing workforce that will help us achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.
The federal government’s investments in energy advisors are not only intended to ensure the successful delivery of the Canada Greener Homes Grant – they are intended to spur the growth of the energy advisor industry in Canada.
It is also important that this workforce more closely reflects Canada’s population. That’s why the call for proposals to date has underscored the need for diversity and inclusion by specifically targeting under-represented groups such as women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2 communities and racialized Canadians.
Help us Help you
Here are three tips for homeowners applying for the grant:
- Select a GCKey username and password that is easy to remember. Write it down somewhere safe!
- Check that your government-issued ID is valid and the name and address shown matches the name and address on your Greener Homes application before you upload it.
- Once you have finished all your retrofits and are ready to request your grant, make sure to submit all your invoices and receipts and that they are marked paid in full.