Betsy AgarManager, Buildings

Betsy Agar is manager of the Pembina Institute's buildings program. She designs policy and programs for the retrofit of Canada's residential building stock.

Prior to joining the Institute, Betsy was a founding member of Renewable Cities at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, where she collaborated with colleagues from around the world to expose barriers to implementation for communities fully powered by renewable energy.  Betsy is a building science engineer (PEO) and holds a Master of Applied Science from McMaster University. She also serves as a director on the board of Climate Action Edmonton.

Bringing her building science expertise together with her love of old cities, Betsy views rehabilitation as an opportunity to help practitioners, policy makers, and communities capitalize on energy-efficiency returns, make the urban “ecosystem” sustainable, and anchor a community’s sense of place.

When Betsy’s not working or volunteering, she is at home or travelling with her husband and teenagers — although her favourite place in the world is the South Magnetawan River, north of Parry Sound, Ontario. She has also developed an eclectic set of skills, such as producing podcasts, knitting, choral singing, and most recently swimming.


Contact Betsy Agar

cell: 604-245-1387 • email:

Betsy Agar's Recent Publications

Climate Policy Leadership in Ontario The Pembina Institute’s recommendations to future leaders

Publication April 26, 2022- By Carolyn Kim, Betsy Agar, Saeed Kaddoura, Cedric Smith
Ontario’s electoral candidates have many options for policy change and incentives to pursue as they build their party platforms and consider how they will lead Ontario for the next four years.
Cover of BC green building jobs

Growth in B.C.’s green building sector spurs job creation Increased investments will help accelerate a clean energy economy

Publication Dec. 8, 2021- By Betsy Agar, Hannah Nadler

British Columbia is experiencing robust growth in its green building sector, contributing to job creation and a cleaner economy. Nevertheless, more investment is needed to meet the provincial target of reducing emissions in buildings and communities to 59% to 64% of 2007 levels by 2030. See the latest numbers on jobs and projects in our updated British Columbia Green Buildings Map.

Letter to NRCan

Letter to NRcan re energy efficient appliances Supporting the proposed Amendment 17 to the Energy Efficiency Regulations

Publication June 23, 2021- By Betsy Agar

The Pembina Institute supports Amendment 17 to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, which would require new home appliance energy performance standards to meet ENERGY STAR efficiency criteria at a minimum. Canada’s declaration of a climate emergency demands ambitious regulatory action like the one proposed by Amendment 17 to drive market solutions. In this case, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances are already available, so there is no reason to delay.

Kamloops needs to retrofit homes to reduce carbon pollution Infographic shows scale of retrofits required to become a zero-carbon community by 2050

Publication Feb. 23, 2021- By Betsy Agar, Roberta Franchuk

The City of Kamloops aims to be a zero-carbon community by 2050. This infographic shows the scale of the building retrofits needed.

Case study

Solar panels boost business case for electrifying multi-unit low-rise housing Case study

Publication Dec. 1, 2020- By Betsy Agar

This case study illustrates how integrating solar PV can improve the business case for retrofitting a low-rise multi-unit residential building (MURB) in B.C.


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