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NRCan is definitely going to do something to stimulate energy retrofits

May 13, 2021  By Patrick Flannery

The Natural Resources Canada May 12 online meeting about the Greener Homes initiative left more questions than answers in the minds of window and door fabricators, if today’s Tech Talks call for Fenestration Canada members was any indication. Director of regulatory affairs, Al Jaugelis, hosted the call along with technical director, Terry Adamson, and Adrian Edge of Innotech and Nicole Bird of RSVP Design.

The Greener Homes Initiative was announced in last falls federal budget statement and reiterated in the budget this spring. It promises rebates of up to $5,000 for 700,000 Canadian home renovation projects that meet criteria for improving the energy efficiency of the building. EnerGuide-certified energy auditors will have to be involved from the start of the project and provide a post-completion report to qualify the project for the rebate.The program is retroactive to Dec. 1, 2020.

The May 12 meeting clarified that just about any kind of single family dwelling or low-rise multi-unit residence qualifies for the rebates, and special plans may come in to place for rental unit landlords, possibly including government loans. Though windows, door and skylight retrofits are not spelled out as qualifying for the rebates, everyone is confident they will. Documenting the retrofit “journey” will require the homeowner to maintain a full record of the work done along with receipts and invoices. Only the owner’s principle residence will be eligible.

Aside from that, many of the most important questions remain outstanding:

  1. What performance metrics will the building have to meet after the work?
  2. When will this program kick off?
  3. Where are all the energy advisors going to come from?
  4. Can the fenestration dealer provide the energy advisor or do they have to contract with the homeowner separately?
  5. The program is supposed to “stack” with similar provincial programs. Will the criteria be harmonized or will homeowners have to qualify twice?
  6. What happens if the program runs out of its $2.6 billion budget before the six-year lifespan is elapsed?
  7. If a homeowner started their project after Dec. 1, 2020, but didn’t use an EnerGuide advisor, are they out of luck?
  8. When will we find out more?


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