The Government of Canada Announces Calls for Applications for Green Building Retrofits to Enable Climate Action in Industries and Communities

News release

February 9, 2023         Ottawa, Ontario              Natural Resources Canada      

The Government of Canada is taking action to fight climate change while strengthening the economy and creating good paying jobs — including in the buildings sector. Ensuring that our infrastructure is well-adapted to mitigate against impacts due to climate change will not only help to improve energy performance for industry and communities, but over the long term will also help to drive down costs and support affordability and reliability.

Today, at the Sustainable Communities Conference, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, launched the call for applications for two new initiatives to accelerate building retrofits: the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative (DRAI) and the Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program (GNPP). 

Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative

The $200-million Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative will invest in projects that support the development of deep retrofits in commercial, institutional or mid- or high-rise multi-unit residential buildings across Canada.

Selected projects will establish and collect deep retrofit projects, guide building owners in the process of developing and implementing specific retrofit projects, identify available funding and financing for specific deep retrofit projects, and conduct capacity building activities, such as developing or implementing new, standardized or replicable methods for deep retrofits.

This call for applications is open to organizations including nonprofits, private firms, civil society, municipalities, provinces and territories, and Indigenous organizations and groups.

This DRAI call for applications will remain open until April 28, 2023. Applications from Indigenous organizations will be accepted on an ongoing basis until March 31, 2025, or until funding is fully distributed.

Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program

The $35.5-million Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program will support up to six communities across Canada in developing integrated approaches to deep energy retrofits — or a major building renovation project — such as upgrading building walls and insulation or upgrading space heating equipment.

The first phase of the program will support regional market development teams (MDTs) in preparing scalable deep energy retrofit plans for their communities. MDTs can convene and coordinate supply-side and demand-side actors to broker aggregated deep energy retrofit projects, find solutions to regional gaps and barriers, and drive market transformation in their regions.

This call for proposals is open to organizations including nonprofits, private firms, and Indigenous organizations and groups. Successful applicants could receive contributions of up to $1 million per project.

The call for proposals under Phase Two of the program is expected to launch by the summer of 2023. This will support demonstration projects in up to six communities, targeting clusters of low-rise housing (at least 100 units). These proposals will explore innovative and cost-effective pathways for more affordable and efficient building renovations.

The Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program’s call for proposals for Market Development Teams will remain open until April 5, 2023.

These new deep retrofit initiatives contribute to the transformation of the buildings sector in support of Canada’s forthcoming Green Buildings Strategy. As Canada advances toward a net-zero emissions and climate-resilient buildings sector by 2050, collaboration with partners across the country is essential to delivering good jobs and resilient communities for generations to come.


“Retrofitting Canada’s buildings stock provides us with the opportunity to make communities more resilient to climate-related impacts while reducing emissions and utility bills, increasing energy efficiency and creating good-paying jobs in construction and maintenance. The Government of Canada opened a call for applications for projects that will enable retrofits in the buildings sector.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources 

“Communities across Canada are retrofitting their buildings to enhance resiliency, reduce utility costs and increase efficiency, all while contributing to Canada’s fight against climate change. The Government of Canada is supporting these efforts, including through the newly launched Deep Retrofits Accelerator Initiative and Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program. These retrofit projects will create more sustainable communities and support well-paying jobs for workers for generations to come.”

Julie Dabrusin,

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

and to the Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  •  Buildings and homes are the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, accounting for approximately 13 percent of Canada’s emissions.

  • More than two-thirds of buildings that will be standing in Canada in 2050 have already been built today, and most of them need to be retrofitted to make them more sustainable. 

  • Deep retrofits are an extensive overhaul of a building’s systems that can generate significant savings in energy costs. Measures may include: significantly reconfiguring the interior, replacing the roof, adding or rearranging windows for increased daylight, replacing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system with a renewable technology like a ground-source heat pump, among other measures.

  • Deep retrofits typically save at least 50 percent in energy consumption, reduce utility costs and operating expenses as well as up to 80 to 100 percent in GHG emissions and may also include measures to improve resiliency and adaptation to climate change.

  • The Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program is based on the successful Dutch “Energiesprong” model, which found savings in decarbonizing multiple buildings at once using prefabricated, panelized approaches. 

  • GNPP applicants can bring together various stakeholders to develop proposals tailored to the unique needs of their communities.

  • Since 2016, the federal government has dedicated more than $10 billion toward decarbonizing homes and buildings, and incenting energy-efficient retrofits. 

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations


Keean Nembhard

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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