Hon Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister, Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON
Canada  K1A 0E4

Dear Minister Wilkinson,

We are writing to express our dismay over the government cancelling the successful Canada Greener Homes Grant program.  While you have spoken of a new program under development, it will reportedly only to be offered to lower income Canadians, abandoning the majority of Canadian homeowners that have been served by the Grant program.

This move would set us back years in achieving our GHG emissions reduction goals, and denies the majority of Canadian homeowners the supports they need to create energy efficient and climate ready homes. We have identified four important concerns with your recent announcements:

1)    A lower income program is welcome, but it should not be a substitute for the flagship program

Many of us have been advocating for a program that supplements the Canada Greener Homes Grant program to support lower income Canadians who cannot afford to retrofit their houses on their own.  But such a program is needed as an addition to the flagship Canada Greener Homes Grant program, not instead of it. This would enable all Canadians to participate in the benefits of retrofits and contribute to meeting Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.  Far more houses are eligible to participate in the flagship Grant program and so far more GHG reduction is available through it, and at a lower cost/tonne.

2)    You can’t manage what you don’t measure: use the Energuide system

We are concerned about reports that the lower-income program will apparently not require Energuide audits to identify appropriate upgrades, verify contractor work and measure savings.  As you know, what we don’t measure, we can’t manage: Energuide audits should oversee the spending of taxpayer dollars for the lower-income program, just as they have done in the Greener Homes Grant program.

3)    Continued commitment to supporting GHG reductions across the residential sector

Instead of expanding the Greener Homes Grant program so it also serves lower income households, the government now appears to be withdrawing from its commitment to meet its GHG targets in the residential sector.  Since 2005, GHG emission reductions in the residential sector have proceeded at only one – tenth the rate required to meet Canada’s 2050 target, now only 26 years away. The launch of the Greener Homes Grant program in 2021 created a surge in retrofitting that accelerated those GHG reductions.  Cancelling a highly successful climate protection program is a step in the wrong direction unless it is replaced with an improved version of the program which can further accelerate the number and depth of retrofits.

4)    Loans are no substitute

Since the Greener Homes Grant program closed its doors to new participants a few weeks ago, the government has referred to the continuation of the CMHC Loan as an alternative.  However, demand for Energuide audits, needed for entry into both programs, has dropped like a stone with the end of the Grant program.  In the residential sector, loans are nowhere near as effective an incentive as grants that reduce the costs of the retrofits.

While it has closed its doors to new participants, the Greener Homes Grant program infrastructure remains in operation for existing participants to complete their retrofits and collect their incentives.  We urge the government to recapitalize the flagship Greener Homes Grant program budget and reopen the program to all Canadian homeowners.  The forests are burning, and nearly all houses in the country need to be retrofitted.  Now is not the time to slow down.


Acacia Engineering Ltd., Amerispec Inspection Services, Buildingexpert.ca, Canadian Home Builders Association of Prince Edward Island, City Green Solutions, Climate Reality Project Canada, Climate Scorecard Canada, EcoSuperior, Efficiency Canada, eMERGE Guelph, Energy Werx Corp., Envirocentre, ER Energy Solutions, Friends of the Earth Canada, Grandmothers Advocacy Network, Green 13 Toronto, Green Calgary, Green Communities Canada, Green Think Inc, Hamilton Green Venture, HomeStep.ca, Hometech Energy Solutions Inc, London Environmental Network, NRGwise Consulting, Paddio.ca – net zero real estate, Parkdale-High Park 4 Climate Action, Peterborough GreenUP, Qualistat Building Performance Consultants Ltd., Reep Green Solutions, Rideau Environmental Action League, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health, Sustainable Housing, Sustainable Kingston, The Environment Network, The Home Inspectors Group Inc., ThermalWise: Building Energy Savings, VerdaTech Energy Management & Consulting Inc., Windfall Ecology Centre.

Cc:       Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment & Climate Change and Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance

Environmental Defence is also expressing their concerns about the ending of the Canada Greener Homes Grant program in a submission to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.