Federal retrofit programs a great step for decarbonizing buildingsAnnouncement a significant step toward investment needed for deep retrofits and electrification in Canada

Feb. 10, 2023

Commercial building retrofit

Photo: Pembina Institute

OTTAWA— Betsy Agar, buildings program manager at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to The Government of Canada Announces Calls for Applications for Green Building Retrofits to Enable Climate Action in Industries and Communities:

“We support this much-anticipated announcement that makes good on commitments made in the 2022 budget. The Deep Retrofit Accelerator Program which provides $200 million to fund market development initiatives to resolve systemic barriers to deep retrofits, and the Green Neighbourhoods Pilot Program, which provides $33 million to support the demonstration of innovative technology in deep retrofit projects, are significant steps toward the investment needed to ramp up deep retrofits and electrification in Canada.

“These programs are a great start to establishing the centres of excellence needed to accelerate the pace of deep retrofits in Canada. All levels of government will need to invest in these and other initiatives to ensure our building stock can be decarbonized before mid-century. This will require funding beyond the four years of this program.

“The buildings sector is the third-largest source of emissions in the country. Decarbonizing Canada’s existing buildings stock is essential to meeting our net-zero commitments as two thirds to three quarters of existing homes and buildings will still be operating by 2050.

“Deep retrofits and electrification will be critical to this process. Advanced building innovations and approaches will be needed to help accelerate construction, minimize occupant impacts and compress deep retrofit costs.

“These programs are also a step towards prioritizing low-income, Indigenous, and under-resourced communities. Deep retrofits can help ensure all Canadians can live in homes that cost less to heat, emit fewer greenhouse gases, are healthier and safer, and more resilient to extreme weather.”




Karen Garth
Senior Comms Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Canada’s Renovation Wave

Quick facts

  • A renovation wave of decarbonization retrofits over the next 20 years could:
    • create up to 200,000 long-lasting well-paid jobs,
    • generate more than $48 billion in economic development each year,
    • pay for themselves twice over through increased tax revenue based on the economic activity generated, and
    • create significant savings in healthcare costs.
  • This wave will require about $15 billion per year for residential buildings and $6 billion per year for commercial and institutional buildings.


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