Food and energy prices have risen significantly in the past few years, sending the cost of living soaring all over the world. It is evident that citizens are looking for savings wherever they can find them. The Canada Greener Homes Initiative is a national program that helps Canadians fight climate change while saving on their energy bills. In only three years, more than half a million Canadians have applied for a grant to upgrade windows and doors, add insulation, and install solar panels. The speed of applications and approvals has been much faster than the government expected, and it is likely in part because Canadians are looking for ways to defray costs.
The cost of living is high nearly everywhere, which means that national, regional, and municipal programs in other jurisdictions that provide grants and loans to citizens to retrofit their homes may also be successful. Of course, barriers to access must be removed. The Canadian government has received some criticism for this Initiative because Canadians must pay the up front costs and be reimbursed later. This is an obstacle to low-income Canadians, which the government is addressing in the second phase of the program.
The marketing for these kinds of programs is important as well. Alternative channels such as social media may help to spread the message. And finally, streamlining the application process is key, particularly when municipal, regional, and/or national grants and loans are combined (as is the case in Canada).
For more information on the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, click here