Budget 2024 previews next phase of Greener Homes program

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In the 430-page budget released by the Federal Government on Tuesday, April 16 there was a strong focus on new home building and home affordability.

As part of the Canada Housing Plan announced last week, the government aims to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031, which includes a minimum of 2 million net new homes on top of the 1.87 million homes already expected to be built by 2031.

To achieve these targets the feds are looking at converting unused federal public buildings, including post office sites and national defence sites across the country, into housing.

House Building Technology

The budget also proposes $50 million over two years to launch a new Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund to invest in projects like prefabricated housing factories, mass timber production, panelization, 3D printing, and pre-approved housing design catalogues.

Apprenticeship Investment

Also included is a proposal to provide $100 million over two years to Employment and Social Development Canada for the the Apprenticeship Service to help create placements with small and medium-sized enterprises for apprentices. Of this amount, $10 million in 2025-26 would be sourced from existing departmental resources.

Green Buildings Strategy

In the budget the government once again announced the imminent launch the Canada Green Buildings Strategy and dropped some highlights on how the strategy will help lower home energy bills and reduce building emissions by supporting energy efficient retrofits.

“Budget 2024 proposes to provide $903.5 million over six years, starting in 2024-25, to Natural Resources Canada as follows:

  • $800 million over five years, starting in 2025-26, to launch a new Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program (CGHAP) that will support the direct installation of energy efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low- to median-incomes. This program represents the next phase of the Canada Greener Homes Initiative and will be co-delivered with provincial and territorial partners. It will also be complemented by CMHC’s existing Greener Homes Loan program.
  • $73.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to renew and modernize existing energy efficiency programs that offer tools to building owners like the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard and the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. This funding will also spur the development of better, more ambitious building codes to further reduce emissions and lower energy bills. The federal government will encourage provinces and territories to adopt these top-tier building codes.
  • $30 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to continue developing a national approach to home energy labelling, which will empower prospective home buyers with information about the energy efficiency of their new home, with the support of energy auditors.

The Budget document includes a couple fictional scenarios to illustrate how the new Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program will work:

<<Maya and Sophie are homeowners with low incomes and are struggling to afford their energy bills. They want to make their home more cost efficient. Through the Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program (CGHAP), an assessment determines that the most effective energy efficiency upgrades for their home are attic insulation and air sealing. At no cost to Maya and Sophie, CGHAP arranges the direct installation of these upgrades, which will prevent heat from leaking out, improve the comfort of their home, save them money on their energy bills, and reduce their home heating emissions.>>

<<Sierra rents an apartment where she faces high heating bills from her baseboard heaters and does not have air conditioning. With the agreement of her landlord, an assessment through CGHAP determines her apartment would be a good candidate for a heat pump. At no cost to Sierra, CGHAP arranges the direct installation of a heat pump that reduces her heating costs and provides air conditioning, leaving her more money at the end of the month, and with a more comfortable home, too.>>

The budget document notes that Natural Resources Canada will announce further details on the Canada Green Buildings Strategy in the coming weeks.

budget.canada.ca

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