There have been some big announcements made over the last few years that affect residential renovation in BC. The HPSC has constructed a timeline of these plans, goals and targets. In doing so, we hope to bring the work of multiple organizations into alignment and spark a conversation about how the industry must evolve and expand.
And, there are likely more announcements coming. The recently elected, October 2019, Liberal Federal Government released a pre-election document titled “Cutting home energy bills and pollution” which indicated a re-elected Liberal government would work to make life more affordable for Canadians as they adapt to the rising costs associated with a changing climate.
The following actions were promised:
- Retrofit 1.5 million homes, over the next five years, to help Canadians make their homes more energy efficient and better protected from climate-related risks, like flood damage and wildfire. This program will be located within the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC);
- Provide interested homeowners and landlords access to a free energy audit;
- Provide homeowners and landlords an interest-free loan, based on the results of the audit. The loan can be paid back over ten years through a CMHC insured mortgage, bank loan, or in partnership with a utility company, through energy savings on monthly bills. Those who proceed with the loan will receive a cash incentive of $250-$750, with the higher amount going to those who cut the most energy waste;
- Create a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 to help buyers of newly built homes that are certified zero-emissions. This will help reduce the price differential on zero-emission homes and encourage more zero-emission homes to be built, and;
- Invest $100 million in skills training, to ensure there are enough qualified workers to keep up with the increased demand for energy audits, retrofits, and net-zero home construction.