Federal Government Announces Calls for Applications for Green Building Retrofits to Enable Climate Action

February 9, 2023

At the Sustainable Communities Conference, the federal government launched the call for applications for two new initiatives to accelerate green building retrofits: the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative (DRAI) and the Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program (GNPP). 

Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative for Green Building Retrofits

The $200-million Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative will invest in projects that support the development of deep retrofits in commercial, institutional or mid- or high-rise multi-unit residential buildings across Canada.

Selected projects will establish and collect deep retrofit projects, guide building owners in the process of developing and implementing specific retrofit projects, identify available funding and financing for specific deep retrofit projects, and conduct capacity building activities, such as developing or implementing new, standardized or replicable methods for deep retrofits.

This call for applications is open to organizations including nonprofits, private firms, civil society, municipalities, provinces and territories, and Indigenous organizations and groups.

This DRAI call for applications will remain open until April 28, 2023. Applications from Indigenous organizations will be accepted on an ongoing basis until March 31, 2025, or until funding is fully distributed.

Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program

The $35.5-million Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program will support up to six communities across Canada in developing integrated approaches to deep energy retrofits — or a major building renovation project — such as upgrading building walls and insulation or upgrading space heating equipment.

The first phase of the program will support regional market development teams (MDTs) in preparing scalable deep energy retrofit plans for their communities. MDTs can convene and coordinate supply-side and demand-side actors to broker aggregated deep energy retrofit projects, find solutions to regional gaps and barriers, and drive market transformation in their regions.

This call for proposals is open to organizations including nonprofits, private firms, and Indigenous organizations and groups. Successful applicants could receive contributions of up to $1 million per project.

The call for proposals under Phase Two of the program is expected to launch by the summer of 2023. This will support demonstration projects in up to six communities, targeting clusters of low-rise housing (at least 100 units). These proposals will explore innovative and cost-effective pathways for more affordable and efficient building renovations.

The Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program’s call for proposals for Market Development Teams will remain open until April 5, 2023.

Our recent article with Hugo Lafontaine of Schneider Electric explores green building retrofit landscape in Canada.

Quick facts

  • Buildings and homes are the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, accounting for approximately 13 percent of Canada’s emissions.

  • More than two-thirds of buildings that will be standing in Canada in 2050 have already been built today, and most of them need to be retrofitted to make them more sustainable.

  • Deep retrofits are an extensive overhaul of a building’s systems that can generate significant savings in energy costs. Measures may include: significantly reconfiguring the interior, replacing the roof, adding or rearranging windows for increased daylight, replacing the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system with a renewable technology like a ground-source heat pump, among other measures.

  • Deep retrofits typically save at least 50 percent in energy consumption, reduce utility costs and operating expenses as well as up to 80 to 100 percent in GHG emissions and may also include measures to improve resiliency and adaptation to climate change.

  • The Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program is based on the successful Dutch “Energiesprong” model, which found savings in decarbonizing multiple buildings at once using prefabricated, panelized approaches.

  • GNPP applicants can bring together various stakeholders to develop proposals tailored to the unique needs of their communities.

  • Since 2016, the federal government has dedicated more than $10 billion toward decarbonizing homes and buildings, and incenting energy-efficient retrofits.

Associated links


Related Articles

Latest Articles

Changing Scene

  • Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage to $16.55 an Hour

    Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage to $16.55 an Hour

    March 31, 2023 The Ontario government is increasing the minimum wage to $16.55 an hour on October 1, 2023. This 6.8 per cent pay raise for low-income workers builds on the government’s steady and predictable increases every year to help families offset the rising cost of living. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government… Read More…

  • Ontario Launches Clean Energy Credit Registry and Establishes Future Clean Electricity Fund in 2023

    Ontario Launches Clean Energy Credit Registry and Establishes Future Clean Electricity Fund in 2023

    March 31, 2023 Ontario has launched a clean energy credit (CEC) registry and is establishing the Future Clean Electricity Fund (FCEF), which will help keep costs down for ratepayers by supporting the future development of new clean energy projects in Ontario. Clean Energy Credit Registry The CEC registry is an online tool that allows for… Read More…

  • Recycling End-of-Life Lighting in Ontario as of 2023

    Recycling End-of-Life Lighting in Ontario as of 2023

    March 31, 2023 As of January 1, 2023 lighting producers have new “extended producer responsibility” obligations in Ontario for the end-of-life management of lighting under Ontario Regulation 522/20: Electrical and Electronic Equipment (the “EEE Regulation”). This includes both end-of-life residential and commercial lighting, generated in Ontario. Product Care Recycling is a not-for-profit organization registered as… Read More…

  • Skilled Trades Ontario Seeking Expert Input to Shape Future of Apprenticeship

    Skilled Trades Ontario Seeking Expert Input to Shape Future of Apprenticeship

    March 31, 2023 Skilled Trades Ontario accepting submissions to inform development of standards in 2023. Skilled Trades Ontario is inviting subject matter experts to participate in developing standards and examinations to ensure they continue to meet the needs of industry, apprentices, and trades professionals in the province. “Ontario is internationally recognized for providing top-tier training… Read More…