UPDATE – Federal: CPA demands changes to new federal retrofit grant program

On behalf of the CPA, President & CEO Nathalie St-Pierre wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau on June 7 to express the CPA’s profound concern that the eligibility criteria of the Canada Greener Homes Grant (CGHG) are focused on electricity and almost entirely exclude applications that are powered by low-emission propane. St-Pierre has demanded that the criteria for the program be changed so that applications such as furnaces and boilers that are powered by propane be included.

The CGHG was announced by Prime Minister Trudeau on May 27. It proposes to help up to 700,000 Canadian homeowners across the country improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy bills.

According to the government, homeowners will be able to receive grants of up to $5,000 to make energy efficient retrofits. Eligible home improvements and upgrades include replacing windows and doors, adding insulation, sealing air leaks, improving heating and cooling systems – such as with heat pumps – and purchasing renewable energy systems like solar panels.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, St-Pierre stated, “it is imperative that the CGHG include propane applications. If the goal of the CGHG is to provide cleaner, affordable energy to Canadians, it must include propane-powered appliances. Canadians must have the option of choosing affordable and low-emission propane and its high efficiency applications as they seek to supply energy to their homes that is greener, more efficient and more affordable.”

St-Pierre also noted that, “despite denials by the government, there clearly appears to be an agenda that is focused on electrification, without analysis as to the source of the electricity. All at the expense of low-emission alternatives such as propane and renewable propane.”

The concerns raised by St-Pierre are similar to those that have been expressed by the Canadian Gas Association.

The CGHG needs to be amended so that all Canadians can have real choice for low-emission energy in their efforts to help save the environment while also saving in energy costs as well.

St-Pierre indicated to the Prime Minister that the CPA is ready to roll up its sleeves and work with the government to make the amendments that the CGHG desperately requires.

The CPA will be contacting the Minister responsible to discuss modifying the program.