Efficiency Canada New Report:

Advancing Canadian Appliance and Equipment Standards

The federal government sets appliance and equipment standards through the Energy Efficiency Regulations, eliminating the least efficient models from the Canadian market. Delays in strengthening these standards lock in higher energy use and the resulting utility costs and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Small efficiency improvements can result in significant savings when aggregated over the more than 16.4 million homes and over half a million commercial and industrial buildings in Canada. Yet, small improvements are no longer enough.

This policy brief provides a background on appliance and equipment standards in Canada, discusses proposed Canadian and U.S. standards, and international best practices for efficiency standards of several product categories in the forthcoming Amendment 18, and some that NRCan could implement via future amendments. The brief highlights opportunities for Canada to demonstrate leadership by adopting standards that go beyond U.S. regulations, in reflection of our colder climate and energy policy priorities.

This policy brief is supported through the generous contributions of the The Atmospheric Fund (TAF). 

A Day in the Life of a Green Program Director with Kirk Johnson

A Day in the Life features real people in real Energy Efficiency work environments showcasing a range of professionals from engineers to architects, retrofitters, trades people, Building Science academics and many more. Watch Kirk Johnson from Toronto, Ontario as he presents A Day in the Life of a Green Program Director. Hear firsthand what it’s like to work in the unique world of Cleantech & Agile Market Transformation.

Efficiency Canada Releases New Report: Policy Tools for Achieving Energy Efficient and Emissions Neutral Buildings in Edmonton

Municipalities across Canada, including the City of Edmonton, have established a path to transition to our net-zero future by 2050. Edmonton’s buildings sector accounts for 1/5 of total emissions and plays an important role in achieving net-zero targets.

This report examines how policy can accelerate newly constructed emissions-neutral buildings, which use less energy and require no costly retrofits, addressing a key climate target challenge.

Key findings:

  • Building codes, especially the 2020 model codes, can guide municipalities through holistic planning considering health, sustainability, and economics.
  • A bold emissions-neutral policy ensures each new building contributes to Edmonton’s energy transition. 
  • This will prioritize resources for decarbonizing existing residential and commercial buildings, a massive effort.

Efficiency Canada Brief: Wind down of Greener Home grants shows need for a consistent strategy

February 5, 2024 — Today the federal government announced Greener Homes grants are winding down and hinted at future directions to support energy retrofits. Long-term consistent support for energy retrofits is needed.

“There should be no disruptions or uncertainty in the federal government’s support for energy retrofits, given the government’s long-term goal to achieve net-zero emissions,” says Brendan Haley, Director of Policy Research at Efficiency Canada, Canada’s energy efficiency policy think-tank.

Some details of the new approach will have to wait for the budget and those details matter. A new element of the plan includes specific help for low-to-moderate-income Canadians. An area where Efficiency Canada has called for a $2.5 billion investment.

“Low-to-moderate income Canadians cannot participate in the Greener Homes program because of the up-front costs and administrative burdens. The government seems to understand this and should provide enough funding in the upcoming budget to make a difference across the country,” said Haley.

Since the launch of the Greener Homes Program, the number of certified energy advisors has nearly doubled and home retrofit projects have increased four-fold. However, retrofit projects still need to achieve the deep energy savings consistent with net-zero emissions, involving not only heat pumps but insulation and air sealing as well.

“Abruptly ending the grants will make it more difficult for the government to achieve its goals. We are a long way from net-zero emission buildings,” said Haley.

An upcoming Green Building Strategy is an opportunity to provide consistent support, instead of boom-bust programs. Haley notes that consistent funding for a long-term strategy will enable program evolutions to make retrofits easier and more affordable, such as replacing up-front costs with regular payments, project implementation assistance, and mandatory building labelling. An Efficiency Canada report, Canada’s Climate Retrofit Mission, outlined a long-term approach, moving away from one-off programs.

Today, Haley’s advice for homeowners is to take advantage of the $40,000 interest-free loan available and to think ahead by getting an energy audit to find areas to upgrade insulation and plug air leaks alongside switching to a heat pump.

“Household costs are the primary concern of Canadians now, and energy retrofits show climate action and affordability work together. There is no better time to make sure all Canadians can reduce their energy bills with energy efficiency.”

Contact: media@efficiencycanada.org

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