New City of Regina housing retrofit rebate program will offer up to $5K

·2 min read
The retrofit rebate program is intended to help the city reach its goals of being a '100 per cent renewable' city, with net-zero carbon emissions, by 2050. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)
The retrofit rebate program is intended to help the city reach its goals of being a '100 per cent renewable' city, with net-zero carbon emissions, by 2050. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

The City of Regina has approved a rebate program it says will not just help Regina residents retrofit their homes, but will also create a more sustainable future.

City council voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the creation of a retrofit rebate program.

It will match funding offered in an existing federal program, known as the Canada Greener Homes Grant, which offers up to $5,600 for home evaluations and retrofits.

The maximum amount available to residents under the Regina rebate program would be $5,000, and individuals must already have applied for or received the federal grant.

Retrofitting can include improving elements of a home such as insulation, air sealing, windows, doors, thermostats and renewable energy to make them more energy efficient.

Mayor Sandra Masters has said she thinks the program will work as a way to test who is interested in retrofitting their home.

The initial program has funding approved in the city's 2022 budget for 80 people, but city administration has said it expects more than 80 applications. If that happens, the city would randomly select from the prospective applicants.

Masters said that if there are only a few more applicants than are covered in the budget, that would be a sign that the city needs to do more planning and outreach.

If demand is stronger, that would be a good sign for Regina, the province and the federal government, she said.

"I think we can communicate that back to the federal government, as well as the provincial government … [which] has a home tax credit, renovation tax credit, that hey, there's a ton of desire up here."

There was no discussion around the cost of a retrofit at the council meeting Wednesday, but a previous executive committee meeting noted it can be significant.

Administration officials said that if the city did not offer enough funding through the program, it would be unlikely to see widespread adoption.

That's why the program offered by the city stacks with the funding offered by the federal grant.

The Regina program is meant to help the city reach its goals of being a "100 per cent renewable" city, with net-zero carbon emissions, by 2050.

"Not only do more efficient homes support long-term climate objectives, but retrofit investments also create economic and financial benefits," according to the City of Regina report on the program.

An increased demand for energy-efficient equipment and low-carbon materials will also help grow the green building product supply chain in Canada, the report says.

City administration says about 61,000 residential homes require retrofits to meet Regina's goal.

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