Because housing is a major component of Canada’s gas emissions and energy consumption, there is a need to design differently. The Centre believes that the community housing sector can play a leadership role in this work. For this reason, we are pleased to renew the Regional Energy Coaching Program for a third year.
Energy Coaching, offered in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), is a free service to address the need for sustainable affordable housing. It is designed to increase the capacity of community housing providers to initiate, design and operate projects that reduce their environmental footprint. Regional energy coaches provide affordable housing organizations with confidence, tools, technical information on green building technologies and systems, and industry contacts to develop their projects.
RECs also act as intermediaries for providers seeking funding from the Green Municipal Fund and the Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative, by assisting them in the application process and helping them access the fund.
The program offers five funding streams: planning phase, study, pilot project, new construction and retrofitting. When a provider plans to renovate their building, the program conducts an initial assessment to provide a baseline. This is a virtual energy walk-through that checks for factors such as the age of windows, mechanical systems and insulation quality. Faucets, dishwashers and other energy consuming items are also checked. A report is then provided with recommendations that help providers plan retrofits to meet energy goals with the greatest efficiency.
At the planning and project study level, the Centre is pleased to see more and more housing providers concerned with reducing the energy consumption of their buildings by 25-50%, or even considering Net Zero energy buildings.
The Centre’s regional energy coaches have supported more than 110 providers across the country, including 90 last year. As a result, the Centre has decided to hire two experts dedicated to this service. Our RECs, Katherine Lapalme and Majed Hargaaya, can be reached by email or through the Centre’s portal.