A Greener Homes Strategy

The NDP’s 'Greener Homes Strategy' is a key point in the Green Agenda. This strategy includes the following proposals: a) The development of an advanced energy efficiency program to help make Canadian homes the most efficient in the world; b) Amending the National Building Code to legislate lower energy use in new homes; c) Making it mandatory, in order to qualify for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Mortgage Insurance Program, proof of compliance with the new National Building Code's energy efficiency provisions for new homes AND establishing or enhancing other programs to help Canadians in retrofitting older homes so as to meet the new energy standards; d) Requiring that all appliances and lighting sold in Canada meet the Energy Star standards; and e) Re-instating the EnerGuide program abolished by the Conservatives. About Our Greener Homes Strategy a) Advanced Energy Efficiency Program for Homes in Canada • Canada already has a huge pool of ‘extra’ energy—the pool that is wasted through inefficient energy use. It’s been proven in North America that it’s cheaper to invest in energy efficiency than to build new energy sources. • Increased energy efficiency not only reduces demand, but also reduces smog production and saves Canadians money. • More than 80 per cent of residential energy is used for space and water heating, followed by operating appliances, lighting and space cooling. • Energy efficiency is achieved when less energy is used to get the same result, such as using compact fluorescent light bulbs for lighting rather than inefficient incandescent bulbs. • Energy consumption could be reduced significantly with little impact on the average Canadian standard of living as is done in other developed countries. b) Amend the National Building Code • While building regulation is a provincial/ territorial jurisdiction, the National Building Code is the standard for provinces and territories. • Presently the National Building Code focuses on safety, health, accessibility and fire and structural protection. • The NDP’s plan calls for the addition of energy efficiency to the Code. c) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Programs • The NDP’s plan calls for new homes to comply with the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Code to qualify for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Mortgage Insurance Program. This would be accomplished by providing to CMHC either an occupancy certificate or a building inspector’s final approval. • The plan also calls for the enhancement of funding for existing CMHC energy efficiency retrofit programs and the establishment of new programs tohelp Canadians improve the energy efficiency of older homes either through grants, low interest loans or loan guarantees. d) Expand Energy Star • Energy Star allows Canadians to choose energy efficient products through the awarding of its certification to products that meet its standards.Currently the program is voluntary for manufacturers. • The NDP’s plan recommends that all newly manufactured energy-using home appliances would have to meet these standards before they can be sold in Canada. This would ensure that appliances sold in Canada are the most energy efficient available. e) Re-instate EnerGuide • Effective May 12, 2006 the Conservative government abolished the EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Incentive Program along with EnerGuide for Low-Income Households. These programs provided assistance to Canadians so they could retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient. • The NDP’s plan would re-instate these programs. Within seven years, the Greener Homes Strategy would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 megatonnes, create over 190,000 jobs in Canada, and save Canadian households money by lowering their energy bills. Using today’s dollars (and excluding the reinstatement of the EnerGuide program) this strategy would cost $189 million per year.
This Update from Libby was posted on October 1, 2006