With 18 per cent of harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions coming from Canadian buildings, increasing residential energy efficiency is an important part of the federal government’s efforts to reach net zero by 2050. Making homes more energy-efficient not only fights climate change, but it also creates good jobs while helping Canadians save on their monthly energy bills.

As such, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, recently announced the first call for proposals for the Toward Net-Zero Homes and Communities program. This program offers funding for projects that explore and implement innovative technologies and practices that seek to improve the energy efficiency of homes and reduce GHG emissions in our communities and neighbourhoods.

The program will help drive Canada’s progress toward net-zero building emissions by 2050. It seeks to empower communities including Indigenous, rural and remote or under-resourced communities to lead in the fight against climate change by supporting projects that increase energy reliability and efficiency while simultaneously making homes and residences more comfortable and more affordable. In doing so, this program will also create sustainable jobs across the country.

This program is open to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that are developing projects that target one of three streams:

  1. Addressing barriers to the adoption of energy-efficient technologies;
  2. Capacity building in support of net-zero-energy-ready building codes;
  3. Facilitating home energy labeling and disclosure to encourage deep energy retrofits.

The program will invest up to $14.6 million over the next four years. Applications for this first call for proposals will be accepted until August 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. PST.

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This program builds on the Government of Canada’s upcoming Green Buildings Strategy, which will create sustainable jobs and help Canada move toward a resilient, net-zero emissions buildings sector by 2050. The strategy will be focused on increasing the rate of building retrofits, ensuring buildings are resilient and net-zero ready from the start and supporting systems change for the buildings sector of the future. Further engagement on the Strategy with partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous governments and municipalities will take place before it is finalized in 2023.

More information can be found on the program’s website.

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