February 9, 2024
CanREA welcomes the announcement on February 5, by the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, of a phase two for the federal Greener Homes Initiative, which helps Canadians “Go Solar” and retrofit their homes to reduce their energy bills and GHG emissions.
“Today’s announcement is important to the continued success of the residential solar sector in Canada,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, CanREA’s President and CEO. “The Greener Homes Initiative has been critical to the growth of this industry, providing consistent support which made solar more accessible to Canadians. CanREA’s solar-installer members have noted that business grew by more than 50% since the program was first rolled out in 2021. Recapitalizing this program will allow them to keep employing more people and contributing to their communities.”
The Greener Homes Initiative, which includes NRCan’s Canada Greener Homes Grant Program, CMHC’s Canada Greener Homes Loan Program, and NRCan’s Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program, has already been utilized by 165,000 Canadian households, and now aims to reach more than 500,000 households by 2027.
Recently, the popular program was nearly cancelled due to oversubscription. CanREA advocated for its recapitalization, providing the federal government with hard data on the benefit of this grant on solar installers and everyday Canadians who wish to go solar.
CanREA worked with officials from Energy and Natural Resources Canada, Finance Canada and the Privy Council Office to make improvements to the program, such as reducing paperwork and expanding the offering so that more Canadians of all incomes can reduce their energy bills.
“We are pleased to see the federal government signal longer-term support for residential solar, with a commitment to work with industry to right-size the Greener Homes programs,” said Fernando Melo, CanREA’s Director of Federal Policy and Government Affairs. “CanREA eagerly awaits the full details, forthcoming in Budget 2024.”
Meanwhile, CanREA remains committed to working with Government of Canada officials to ensure the smooth continuation of the program. CanREA will seek clarity regarding applications to the program during the transition between the old and new versions of the program, in addition to confirming that phase two of the Greener Homes Initiative will specifically support residential solar.
“It’s important to get this right,” said Melo, “to help grow our robust Canadian industry and make household solar more accessible. Harnessing your own power from the sun is a brilliant way for Canadians to reduce their energy bills and be more self-sufficient in a changing climate.”