As part of the current Canadian election campaign, leaders of the Canadian Liberal Party have announced a plan for spending more than a half a billion dollars to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Canada, if they are elected next month.
Under the four-year proposal, the Liberals would offer homeowners $10,000 in financial support for investing in energy-saving measures such as insulation, weatherproofing and more efficient heating systems.
Up to $10,000 would also be available to homeowners as an interest-free “green mortgage loan” to help with up-front costs and major retrofits.
The long term goal of this program is to upgrade 50 per cent of all Canadian homes by 2020 and all homes by 2030. Other elements of the program are aimed at improving the energy efficiency requirements in the Canadian building codes and also raise the efficiency standards for home appliances.
Improving the infrastructure of the nation and raising the standards for new construction leads to long-term benefits by reducing the amount of energy needed across the country. Residences are just one segment of the national building stock, however, and are responsible for 21% of total energy use. Other sectors, including commercial buildings and industrial uses, also need to have improved standards, to make an effective overall policy. But a national program attempting to make all homes more energy efficient could be important anywhere.