The Government of Ontario released its five-year Climate Change Action Plan on June 8, leading the province towards a low-carbon economy. The Plan, which is to be funded by the Cap and Trade Program’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account (GGRA), includes the following programs and initiatives:
- Improve energy efficiency in multi-tenant residential buildings: $680-900 million to fund retrofits in social housing apartments and provide incentives to retrofit apartment buildings
- Improve energy efficiency in schools and hospitals: $400-800 million allotted to help retrofit schools, hospitals, universities, and colleges
- Reduce emissions from heritage buildings: $40-80 million
- Help homeowners reduce their carbon footprint by supporting additional choice: $681-824 million to fund a near Net Zero Carbon Home Incentive rebate program
- Set lower-carbon standards for new buildings: the Building Code to be updated with long-term energy efficiency targets for new net zero carbon emission small buildings that will come into effect by 2030
- Help individuals and businesses manage their energy use and save money: $200-250 million to introduce Home Energy Rating & Disclosure (HERD) program and provide free energy audits for pre-sale homes
- Training, workforce, and technical capacity: $45-70 million to fund new training programs that will ensure the building sector has skilled workers, and to support post-secondary training and innovations
- Reduce emissions and energy costs across the government: $165-175 million to improve the government’s carbon footprint, including retrofits of government buildings
The Plan, which also includes programs and initiatives in other areas—including transportation, land-use planning, and indigenous communities—is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 9.8 million tonnes by 2020 and total $8.3 billion over five years.
NAIMA Canada’s Executive Director, Jay Nordenstrom, applauds the Province’s commitment to fighting climate change through financial incentive programs and mandatory home energy labelling, an initiative championed by the Home Energy Transparency Coalition and its members.
“Ontarians deserve to know how a home operates when comparing properties to better understand their monthly future payments,” said Mr. Nordenstrom. “We have labels for food, gas mileage and medicine, why not homes too?”
Home energy labelling can be used to improve consumer protection, increase the value of homes, strengthen energy literacy, and encourage homeowners to contribute to the fight against climate change.