Minister Wilkinson Provides Update to Canada Greener Homes Initiative, Including More Energy Advisors Coming to Manitoba
January 28, 2022 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Helping people make their homes more energy-efficient fights climate change and creates good jobs, all while helping homeowners save on their monthly energy bills. That’s why the Government of Canada launched the Canada Greener Homes Grant initiative in May 2021 to help up to 700,000 Canadian homeowners upgrade their homes.
Energy advisors are the backbone of the Canada Greener Homes Grant. To ensure retrofits improve a home’s energy efficiency and homeowners know about their retrofit options, an energy advisor must conduct a pre-retrofit and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. The Greener Homes initiative’s immense popularity — with over 180,000 homeowners applying in just a few months — has led to a major demand for new energy advisors.
That’s why today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $903,000 investment for the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA). This funding, which was provided through the $10-million call for proposals to train up to an additional 2,000 energy advisors, will help recruit and train up to 90 energy advisors in Manitoba.
Minister Wilkinson also issued this statement to update Canadians on the Greener Homes initiative:
“The Canada Greener Homes Grant has proven extremely popular, which I am very pleased to see. Already, the initiative 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 reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but makes life more affordable and creates middle-class jobs.
“This popularity resulted in some early delays in processing applications. I would like to thank all applicants for their patience and for taking part in net-zero solutions — and I am happy to report that the initiative’s process delays have been resolved or are in the process of being resolved.
“Natural Resources Canada continues to introduce measures to reduce wait times and restore service standards, including by streamlining processes and hiring new staff. Natural Resources Canada personnel are working to improve program delivery, with a focus on:
- Processing applications more rapidly
- Accelerating grant payments
- Recruiting more energy advisors
- Making it easier to connect to an advisor (including piloting remote audits)
“With the measures we are introducing to recruit, train and improve access to audits, we are confident that all Canadians will soon be able to access a pre-retrofit audit within a three-month service standard.
“As of December 2021, a backlog of 70,000 applications has been cleared, and new applicants can expect a response from NRCan within four weeks. In addition, since launching the initiative, NRCan has registered 185 new energy advisors, who join the more than 1,000 existing energy advisors already conducting EnerGuide evaluations for homeowners.
“Today’s announcement builds on that progress. It is the fifth project from our call for proposals — out of an anticipated 18 — to train more energy advisors, and it will allow MEIA to deliver a permanent energy advisor training program with in-person and virtual options to prepare candidates, including from under-represented groups, to successfully obtain their energy advisor registration.
“These new advisors are seizing one of the many opportunities presented by the transition to a net-zero economy while helping Canadian homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient. Additional projects for the recruitment and training of energy advisors will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
“These investments and initiatives 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. 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.
“I look forward to working with this program’s partners to ensure the successful delivery of the Canada Greener Homes Grant in the months and years to come. Once again, I would like to thank Canadians for their eagerness to take part in net-zero solutions and fight climate change.”
“This Energy Advisor training program is a big deal for our organization, for Manitoba and for those who seek a professional career in performing energy audits, as an increasing number of homeowners and businesses look to improve their building efficiency. The new program is a success story of MEIA’s workforce development mandate under the provincial Sector Council Program and was made possible through supports from our various partners, including RRC Polytech and Efficiency Manitoba. With NRCan’s funding support, we will be able to help cover registration costs and target recruitment from communities that traditionally have been under-represented in the profession.”
Executive Director, Manitoba Environmental Industries Association
To access the initiative, homeowners must apply through Natural Resources Canada’s Greener Homes portal to confirm their eligibility, and are then connected with an energy advisor to complete a pre-retrofit home evaluation — a crucial component to inform homeowners of the best retrofit opportunities in each unique situation.
Once homeowners have completed a suggested retrofit, a post-retrofit evaluation is conducted, and NRCan processes payment of the grant to the recipient.
To date, the initiative has already received over 132,400 direct applications, and up to 50,000 homeowners have signed up through partner programs in Quebec and Nova Scotia, which are co-delivered with those provincial governments. The Greener Homes initiative has therefore received applications for over 25 percent of its intended grants in just the first seven months of its seven-year lifespan.
With buildings — including homes — accounting for 18 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, initiatives like this are an important component of Canada’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 while creating sustainable jobs in every region of the country.
The Canada Greener Homes initiative will deliver up to 1.5 megatonnes in emissions reduction annually by 2027 and 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 federal government has funded the development of the DiscoverEE Hub — an online portal to help Canadians join the energy efficiency industry and become energy advisors. The hub was designed and is operated in partnership with Efficiency Canada.
As part of their energy advisor recruitment project, MEIA will also provide practical hands-on training and mentorship opportunities to prospective and newly registered advisors. The program will be delivered in collaboration with prairieHOUSE Performance, RRC Polytech, Efficiency Manitoba, the Manitoba Construction Sector Council, the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association and Sustainable Building Manitoba. As an early deliverable, up to 90 new energy advisors will be trained across the province.
- Canada Greener Homes Grant Winter 2022 Update
- Canada Greener Homes Grant
- Canada Investing $10 Million to Create Jobs for New Energy Advisors
- Prime Minister announces Canada’s strengthened climate plan to protect the environment, create jobs, and support communities
- A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy
- Fall Economic Statement 2020: Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19
- Manitoba Environmental Industries Association
Natural Resources Canada
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